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GAELIC NAMES OF PLANTS 



" I study to bring forth some acceptable work : not striving to shew- 
any rare invention that passeth a man's capacity, but to utter and 
receive matter of some moment known and talked of long ago, yet over 
long hath been buried, and, as it seemed, lain dead, for any fruit it hath 
shewed in the memory of man."— Churchward, 1588. 



GAELIC NAMES OF PLANTS 

(SCOTTISH AND IRISH) 



COLLECTED AND ARRANGED IN SCIENTIFIC ORDER, WITH 

NOTES ON THEIR ETYMOLOGY, THEIR USES, PLANT 

SUPERSTITIONS, ETC., AMONG THE CELTS, 

WITH COPIOUS GAELIC, ENGLISH, 

AND SCIENTIFIC INDICES 



BY 



JOHN CAMERON 

SUNDERLAND 



What's in a name? that which we call a rose 
By any other name would smell as sweet." 

— Shakespea re. 



WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS 

EDINBURGH AND LONDON 
MDCCCLXXXIII 



All Rights reserved 






636578 



TO 

J. BUCHANAN WHITE, M.D., F.L.S. 

WHOSE LIFE HAS BEEN DEVOTED TO 

NATURAL SCIENCE, 

AT WHOSE SUGGESTION THIS 

COLLECTION OF GAELIC NAMES OF PLANTS 

WAS UNDERTAKEN, 

2i:j)ts OTork 

IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED BY 
THE AUTHOR. 



PREFACE. 



The Gaelic Names of Plants, reprinted from a series of 
articles in the ' Scottish Naturalist,' which have appeared 
during the last four years, are published at the request of 
many who wish to have them in a more convenient form. 
There might, perhaps, be grounds for hesitation in obtrud- 
ing on the public a work of this description, which can 
only be of use to comparatively few ; but the fact that no 
book exists containing a complete catalogue of Gaelic 
names of plants is at least some excuse for their publication 
in this separate form. Moreover, it seemed to many able 
botanists that, both for scientific and philological reasons, 
it would be very desirable that an attempt should be 
made to collect such names as are still used in the spoken 
Gaelic of Scotland and Ireland, before it became too late 
by the gradual disappearance of the language. Accord- 
ingly the author undertook this task at the request of the 
Editor of the ' Scottish Naturalist/ Dr Buchanan White, 
F.L.S. If the difficulties of its accomplishment had been 
foreseen, he would have hesitated to make the attempt ; 
as it is, nearly ten years of his life have been occupied in 
searching through vocabularies, reading Irish and Scot- 
tish Gaelic, and generally trying to bring into order the 
confusion to which these names have been reduced partly 
by the carelessness of the compilers of Dictionaries, and 
frequently by their botanical ignorance. To accomplish 
this, numerous journeys had to be undertaken among 



viii PREFACE. 

the Gaelic-speaking populations, in order, if possible, to 
settle disputed names, to fix the plant to which the name 
was applied, and to collect others previously unrecorded. 

In studying the Gaelic nomenclature of plants, it soon 
became evident that no collection would be of any value 
unless the Irish-Gaelic names were incorporated. Indeed, 
when the lists supplied by Alexander M'Donald {Mac- 
MhaigJistej^-Alastair), published in his vocabulary in 1741, 
are examined, they are found to correspond with those 
in much older vocabularies published in Ireland. The 
same remark applies, with a few exceptions, to the names 
of plants in Gaelic supplied by the Rev. Mr Stewart of 
Killin, given in Lightfoot's ' Flora Scotica.' Undoubtedly, 
the older names have been preserved in the more copious 
Celtic literature of Ireland ; it is certainly true that "//^ 
vetustd Hibernicd fuudamentuin habet." The investiga- 
tions of Professor O'Curry, O'Donovan, and others, have 
thrown much light on this as well as upon many other 
Celtic topics. The Irish names are therefore included, 
and spelt according to the various methods adopted by 
the different authorities; this gives the appearance of a 
want of uniformity to the spelling not altogether agree- 
able to Gaelic scholars, but which, under the circum- 
stances, was unavoidable. 

It was absolutely essential that the existing Gaelic 
names should be assigned correctly. The difficulty of 
the ordinary botanical student was here reversed : he has 
the plant but cannot tell the name — here the name 
existed, but the plant required to be found to which 
the name applied. Again, names had been altered from 
their original form by transcription and pronunciation ; it 
became a matter of difficulty to determine the root word. 
However, the recent progress of philology, the knowledge 
of the laws that govern the modifications of words in the 
brotherhood of European languages, when applied to 
these names, rendered the explanation given not alto- 
gether improbable. Celts named plants often from (i), 
their uses ; (2), their appearance ; (3), their habitats ; (4), 



PREFACE. IX 

their superstitious associations, &c. The knowledge of 
this habit of naming was the key that opened many a 
difficulty. 

For the sake of comparison a number of Welsh names 
is given, selected from the oldest list of names obtainable. 
— those appended to Gerard's 'Herbalist,' 1597. 

The author cannot sufficiently express his obligation to 
numerous correspondents in the Highlands and in Ireland 
for assistance in gathering local names ; without such 
help it would have been impossible to make a com- 
plete collection. Notably the Rev. A. Stewart, Nether 
Lochaber, whose knowledge of natural history is unsur- 
passed in his own sphere ; the Very Rev. Canon Bourke, 
Claremorris, who gave most valuable assistance in the 
Irish names, particularly in the etymology of many ab- 
struse terms, his accurate scholarship, Celtic and classical, 
helping him over many a difficulty; Mr W. Brockie, an 
excellent botanist and philologist, who some years ago 
made a collection of Gaelic names of plants which was 
unfortunately destroyed, placed at the author's disposal 
valuable notes and information relative to this subject ; 
and lastly, the accomplished Editor of the * Scottish 
Naturalist,' who, from its commencement, edited the sheets 
and secured the correct scientific order of the whole. 

With every desire to make this work as free from errors 
as possible, yet, doubtless, some have escaped attention ; 
therefore, any names omitted, any mistake in the naming 
of the plants, or any other fact tending towards the fur- 
ther elucidation of this subject will be thankfully received 
for future addition, correction, or amendment. 

JOHN CAMERON. 

Sunderland, January 1883. 



THE GAELIC NAMES OE PLANTS. 



Ranunculace^e. 
Thalictmm — {OaWw, f/ia//o, to grow green). 

Gaelic: ruz/i, rii, rtiisrh, \ t. , , , ,r t> * 

-J. . , ^ -1^ "^ ' > Rne (or plants resembling Ruta 

graveolens). See Gerard. 

T. alpinum. — Ru ailpeach : Alpine meadow-rue. 

T. minus. — Rii beg : Lesser meadow-rue. Rue is nearly the 
same in most of the ancient languages \ said to be from pvw, 
to flow ; Gaelic — ruUh, flow, rush ; their roots, especially 
T. flavum^ possessing powerful cathartic qualities like rhubarb. 
Compare also rii^ rtm, a secret, mystery, love, desire, grace. 
Welsh : rima, hieroglyphics (Runic). The Thalictrum of Pliny 
is supposed to be the meadow-rue. (See Freund's Lexicon.) 

" I'll set a bank of rue, sour hei-b of grace "—Shakespeare. 

" Mo run geal og ! " — My fair young beloved ovi^ ! 

*' Oir a ta sibh a toirt deachaimh 'a mionnt, agus a ru, agus gach uile ghne 
luibhean, " — For ye tithe mint and r2ie, and all manner of herbs. 

The Rue of Shakespeare is generally supposed to be Ruta 
graveolens {Rtl gharaidli)^ a plant belonging to another order, 
and not indigenous. 

Anemone nemorosa — Wind-flower. Gaelic : plur na gaoithe, 
wind-flower (Armstrong). Welsh : UysiauW gwynf, wind-flower, 
because some of the species prefer windy habitats. Irish : 
nead chailkach, old woman's nest. 

Ranunculus. — From Gaelic, ran; Egyptian, ranah ; Latin, 
rana^ a frog, because some of the species inhabit humid places 
frequented by that animal, or because some of the plants have 
leaves resembling in shape a frog's foot. Ranunculus is also 



sometimes called crowfoot. Gaelic : cearban, raggy, from its 
divided leaves. Gair-cean, — from gair^ a smile ; ceajij love, ele- 
gance. Welsh : a-af range y /ran, crows' claws. 

R. aquatilis — Water crowfoot. Gaelic : fleanii iiisge^ probably 
from lean, to follow, and uisge, water, follower of the water. 
Lio7i na Uaibhne, the river-flax. Irish : neul uisge, — neul, a star, 
and uisge, water. Tutr chis, — tuir, a lord ; chis, purse (from its 
numerous achenes). 

R. ficaria — Lesser celandine. Gaelic : grain-aigein, that which 
produces loathing. Searraiche, a little bottle, from the form of 
the roots. Welsh : toddedig wen, fire dissolvent ; toddi, melt, 
dissolve. 

R. flammula — Spearwort. Gaelic : glas-leun, — glas, green ; 
leun, a swamp. Lasair-kana, — lasair, a flame, and leana or leiin, 
a swamp, a spear. Welsh : blaer y guaew, lance-point. 

R. auricomus — Goldilocks. Gaelic : follasgain ; probably 
from follais, conspicuous. Irish : foloscain, a tadpole. The 
Gaelic may be a corruption from the Irish, or vice versa ; also 
gruag Mhnire, Mary's locks. 

R. repens — Creeping crowfoot. Gaelic : buigheag, the yellow 
one. Irish : bairgin, more frequently bairghin, a pilgrim's 
habit. Fear ban, — fear b a, killing, destroying. 

R, acris — Upright meadow crowfoot. Gaelic : cearban feoir, 
the grass rag. Irish : the same name. This plant and R. flam- 
7nula are used in the Highlands, applied in rags {cearban), for 
raising blisters. 

R. bulbosus — Bulbous crowfoot. Gaelic : fiiile thahnhainn, 
blood of the earth (it exhausts the soil). Welsh : crafange y 
frdn, crows' claws. 

R. sceleratus — Celery-leaved crowfoot. Gaelic and Irish : 
torachas biadhain ; probably means food of which one would be 
afraid. 

Caltha palustris — Marsh-marigold. Gaelic : a chorrach shod, 
the clumsy one of the marsh. Lus bhtiidhe bealtuinn, the yellow 
plant of Beltane or May, — Bel or Baal, the sun-god, and teine, 
fire. The name survives in many Gaelic names — e.g., Tidlibeltane, 
the high place of the fire of Baal. 

" Beath a's calltuinn latha-<5^a//-^?/m«."— M*Kay. 
Birch and hazel first day of May. 

Irish : plubairsin from pi ub rack, plunging. Lus Mairi, Mary- 
wort, Marygold. 



3 

Helleborus viridis — Green hellebore. Gaelic : eleboKy a 
corruption of helleborus (from the Greek cXeii/, helei?iy to cause 
death ; and ^opa, bora^ food — poisonous food). 

" Mo shron tha stocpt a dhV/^/^^r." — M 'Donald. 
My nose is stopped with hellebore. 

H. foetidus — Stinking hellebore. Meaca?i sleibhe^ the hill- 
plant. 

AcLuilegia vulgaris — Columbine. Gaelic : his a cholamain^ 
the dove's plant. Irish : cruba-leisin^ — from criiba, crouching, and 
leise, thigh or haunch ; suggested by the form of the flower. 
Lusan cholaui (O'Reilly), pigeon's flower. Welsh : troed y 
glomen, naked woman's foot. 

Aconitum napellus — Monkshood. Gaelic : fuath mhadhaidh 
(Shaw), the wolfs aversion. Curaichd mhdnaich (Armstrong), 
monkshood. Welsh : bletddag, — from bleidd, a wolf, and tag^ 
choke. 

Nigella damascena — Chase-the-devil. Gaelic : lus aft fhog- 
raidh, the pursued plant. Irish : lus mhic Raonail, MacRonald's 
wort. Not indigenous, but common in gardens. 

Pseonia oflGlcinalis — Peony. Gaelic : lus a phione. A corrup- 
tion of FcEon, the physician who first used it in medicine, and 
cured Plato of a wound inflicted by Hercules. Welsh : bladeu'r 
brenin^ the king's flower. Irish : lus phoinc, 

Berberidace/e. 

Berberis vulgaris — Barberry. Gaelic : barbrag (a corruption 
from Phoenician word barar), the brilliancy of a shell; allud- 
ing to their shining leaves. Greek /Sep/Sepc, berberi, a shell. Freas 
nan gear dhearc, the sour berry-bush. Freas deilgneach, the 
prickly bush. Irish : barbrog. 

Nymph^ace^.. 

(From, vvfjicfjr], nymphe, a water-nymph, referring to their habitats.) 

NymphsBa alba — White water-liI3^ Gaelic : duileag bhaite 
bhdn, the drowned white leaf. 

" Feur lochain is tachair, 
An cinn an duileag Mi/V^."— M'Intyre. 
Water, grass, and algoe, 
Where the water-lily grows. 

*' O ///z, righ nam fleuran."— M'DONALD. 
O lily, king of flowers. 



Rabhagach^ giving caution or warning; a beacon. Lili bhdn, 
white lily. Welsh : Z///-r-^z£//', water-lily. In^h : buillite. (Shaw.) 
Nuphar luteum — Yellow water-lily. Gaelic: duileag bhaite 
bhiddhe, the yellow drowned leaf. Lili bhuidhe n'uisge, yellow 
water-lily. Irish : liach laghor, the bright flag. Cabhan abhain^ — 
cabhan^ a hollow plain, and abhain^ of the river. 

Papaverace/e. 

Papaver rhoeas — Poppy. Gaelic : meilbheag^ sometimes 
beilb/ieag, di little pestle (to which the capsule has some resem- 
blance). 

" Le meilbheag, le noinean, 's le slan-lus. " — M'Leod. 
With a poppy, daisy, and rib-grass. 

Fothros, corn-rose, — from ioth (Irish), corn ; ros, rose. Cromlus^ 
bent weed. Paipean ruad/i, — ruadh^ red, and paipean a corrup- 
tion of papaver^ from papa^ pap, or pappo, to eat of pap. The 
juice was formerly put into children's food to make them sleep. 
Welsh : pabi. 

P. somniferum — Common opium poppy. Gaelic : codalian, 
from codal or cadal, sleep. 

Chelidonium majus. Common celandine (a corruption of 
XcAiSwv, chelidon^ a swallow). Gaelic : an ceann ruadh^ the 
red head. Irish : lacha cheann ruadh^ the red - headed duck. 
Welsh : llysie y weufiol, swallow-wort. The flower is yellow, not 
red. Aonsgoch is another Gaelic name for swallow-wort, mean- 
ing the lonely flower, — aon^ one or alone, and sgoth^ a flower. 

Glaucium luteum — Yellow horned poppy. Gaelic : barrag 
ruadh (/), the valiant or strong head. The flower is yellow, not 
red. 

FUMARIACE^E. 

(From fiDmts, smoke. " The smoke of these plants being said 
by the ancient exorcists to have the power of expelling evil 
spirits " (Jones). French : fume terre.) 

Fumaria officinalis — Fumitory. Gaelic : lus deathach thal- 
mhainn (Armstrong), the earth - smoke plant. Irish : deatach 
thalmhuin (O'Reilly), earth - smoke. W^elsh : mwg y ddaer, 
earth-smoke. Another Irish name is ca;nan scarraigh (O'Reilly), 
— catnan, crooked, and scaradh, to scatter. 

^ Ruadh does not mean absolutely red, but reddish. Welsh : Rhydh. It 
means also power, virtue, strong, valiant. 



CRUCIFERyE. 

(From Latin crux, crucis^ a cross, and fero, to bear, the petals 
being arranged crosswise.) 

Crambe maritima — Seakale. Gaelic : praiseag trdgha, the 
shore pot-herb, — from the Irish praiseach, Gaelic praiseag^ a 
little pot (a common name for pot-herbs). Cal na uidra, sea- 
kale (from Greek, xavXos; Latin, cmdis ; German, /^^///; Saxon, 
catvl ; English, cole or kale ; Irish, cdl ; Welsh, cawl.) 

Isatis tinctoria — Woad. The ancient Celts used to stain 
their bodies with a preparation from this plant. Its pale-blue 
hue was supposed to enhance their beauty, according to the 
fashion of the time. Gaelic : guirmean^ the blue one. Irish 
and Gaelic : glas lus^ pale-blue weed. Welsh : glas lys. For- 
merly called Glastum. 

''Is g/as mo luibh."— OssiAN. 
Pale-blue is the subject of my praise. 

On account of the brightness of its manufactured colours the 
Celts called it gwed (giiede in French to this day), whence the 
Saxon toad and the English woad. 

Thlaspi arvense — Penny-cress. Gaelic : praiseach feidh, deer's 
pot-herb. Irish : preaseach fiadh^ a deer's pot-herb. 

Capsella Bursa-pastoris — Shepherd's purse. Gaelic : his na 
fola, the blood-weed ; an sporran^ the purse. Irish : sraidin, a 
lane, a walk. Welsh : purs y bugail, shepherd's purse {biigail, 
from Greek (3vko\o<;, a shepherd). 

Cochlearia of5.cinalis — Scurvy -grass. Gaelic : a maralc/t, 
sailor; carran, the thing for scurvy, possessing antiscorbutic 
properties. " Plaigh na carra,^^ the plague of leprosy (Stuart). 
^'' Duine aig am bheil carr,'' a man who has the scurvy (Stuart 
in Lev.) Welsh: mor luyau, sea-spoons; llysie'r bhig, scurvy- 
grass (from blwg, scurvy). Irish : biolair trdgha, — biolair, dainty, 
and trdgha, shore or seaside. 

Armoracia rusticana (armoracia, a name of Celtic origin, — from 
ar, land ; mor or ??iar, the sea ; m, near to, — a plant growing 
near the sea). English : horse-radish. Gaelic : meacan-each, the 
horse-plant. Irish : racadal, perhaps from an old word rac, a 
king, a prince, and adhal, desire — i.e., the king's desire. 

Raphanus raphanistrum — Radish. Gaelic : meacan riiadh, the 
reddish plant, from the colour of the root. Irish : fiadh roidis, 
wild radish. 



6 

Car4amine pratensis— Cuckoo flower, ladies' smock. Gaelic : 
plur na cubkaig, the cuckoo-flower. Gleoran^ from gleote^ hand- 
some, pretty. The name is given to other cresses as well. 
Biolair-ghriagain, the bright sunny dainty. 

Cakile maritimum — Sea gilly-flower rocket. Gaelic : fearsaid- 
eag; meaning uncertain, but probably from Irish saide^ a seat 
(Latin, sedes)^ the sitting individual — from its procumbent habit. 

Nasturtium oJBacinalis — Water-cress. Gaelic, biolair, a dainty, 
or that which causes the nose to smart, hence agreeing with 
nasturtium (Latin : nasus, the nose, and tortus^ tormented). Dur- 
lus, — du7% water, and lus, plant. Dobhar-lus^ — dobhar^ water. 
Welsh : berwyr dwfr, water-cress. The Gaelic and Irish bards 
used these names indefinitely for all cresses. 

" Sa bhiolair luidneach, shliom-chluasach. 
Glas, chruinn-cheannach, chaoin ghorm-nealach|; 
Is i fas glan, uchd-ard, gilmeineach, 
Fuidh barr geal iomlan, sonraichte." — M'Intyre. 

Its drooping, smooth, green, round-leaved water-cress growing so radiantly, 
breast-high, trimly; under its remarkably perfect white flower. 

^^ Dobhrach bhallach mhin," — M'Intyre. 

Smooth-spotted water-cress. 

Sisymbrium sophia — Flixweed. Gaelic : fineal Mhuire^ the 
Virgin Mary's fennel. Welsh : piblys, pipe-weed. 

Erysimum alliaria — Garlic mustard, sauce alone. Gaelic ; 
garbhrait/ieach, rough, threatening. 

Cheiranthus cheiri — Wallflower, gilly-flower. Gaelic : lus leth 
an samhraidh^ half the summer plant. Irish : the same. Welsh : 
bloden gorpJwiaf^ July flower or gilly-flower. Wedg^vood says 
gilly-flower is from the French giroflee, 

Brassica rapa — Common turnip. Gaelic, neup ; Irish, ndp ; 
Welsh, maipen ; Scotch, neep (and navew^ French, navet) ; 
corruptions from Latin napus. 

B. campestris — Wild navew. Gaelic : neup fiadhain, wild 
turnip. 

B. oleracea — Seakale or cabbage. Gaelic and Irish : praiseach 
bhaidhe, the pot-herb of the wave {baid/ie, in Irish, a wave. 
Morran, — mor (Welsh), the sea, its habitat the seaside. Cal 
colbhairt — the kale with stout fleshy stalks (from colbh^ a stalk 
of a plant, and aii, flesh), cat or cadhal. Welsh : caivl^ kale. 
Gaelic : cdl-cearslach {cearslach, globular), cabbage ; cdl gruidhean 
(with grain like flowers), cauliflower ; colag (a little cabbage), 
cauliflower; garadh cdil, a kitchen-garden. 



" Dh' itheadh biolair an fhuarain 
'S air bu shuarach an chl. " — M 'Donald. 
I would eat the cress of the wells. 
Compared to it, kale is contemptible. 

Sinapis arvensis — Charlock, wild mustard. Gaelic : marag 
bhnid/ie, the yellow sausage (to which the pod is supposed to 
bear some resemblance). Sceallan, — sceall, a shield. Sgealag 
(Shaw), — sgealpach, biting. Mustard, from the English. 

" Mar ghrainne de shiol inustaird." — Stuart. 
Like a grain of mustard-seed. 

Gaelic : praiseach garbh, the rough pot-herb. 

Resedace^. 

Reseda luteola — Weld, yellow weed. Gaelic : lus huidhe mor^ 
the large yellow weed. Irish : buidhe mor, the large yellow. 
Welsh : llysie lliu, dye-wort. Reseda, from Latin resedo. Gaelic : 
reidh, to calm, to appease. 

ClSTACE^. 

(From Greek kig-t-y], kiste, a box or capsule, from their peculiar 
capsules. Latin, cist a ; Gaelic, ciste ; Danish, kiste.) 

Helianthemum vulgare — Rock-rose. Gaelic : grian ros, sun- 
rose ; plur na greine, flower of the sun (also heliotrope). Welsh : 
blodaw'r haul, sun-flower. 

ViOLACEiE. 

(From Greek tov, ion, a violet, — the food given to the cow To, 
one of Jupiter's mistresses.) 

Viola odorata — Sweet violet. Gaelic : fail chuach, scented 
bowl \ fail, scent, and cuach, a bowl hollow as a nest. Scotch : 
quaich, cogie (dim.), a drinking-cup. 

' ' Fail chuachaig ar uachdar a fheoir. " — M'Farlane. 
Scented violet on the top of the grass. 

V. canina — Dog-violet. Gaelic : dail chuach, field-bowl {dail, 
a field). Danish : dal, a valley. 

" Gun sobhrach gun dail chuach, 
Gun lus uasal air carnn." — M'Intyre. 
Without primrose or violet, 
Or a gay floM'er on the heap. 



Sail chuach, — sail, a heel (from its spur). 

" Coille is guirme sail chuach.'''' — Old Song. 
A wood where violets are bluest. 

Irish : hiodh a leithid, the world's paragon ; also fanaisge, pro- 
bably from fan, weak, faint, agreeing in meaning with the Welsh 
name, crinllyns, a fragile weed. 

Droserace^. 

(From Greek 8po(r€po<5, droseros, dewy, because the plants appear 
as if covered with dew.) 

Drosera rotundifolia — Round-leaved sundew. Gaelic : ros 
an rsolais, sun-rose or flower ; geald-i'uidhe or dealt 7'uaidhe, very 
red dew; lus na fearnaich, the plant with shields (its leaves have 
some resemblance to shields). Irish : eil druich {eil, to rob, and 
driiich, dew), the one that robs the dew; drtiichdin mona, the 
dew of the hill. Welsh : doddedig rudd, — dod, twisted thread, 
and rtidd, red, the plant being covered with red hairs. 

POLYGALACE^. 

(From Greek iroXv, poly, much, and yaXa, gala, milk.) 

Polygala vulgaris — Milkwort. Gaelic : lus a bhdine, milk- 
wort. Irish : lusan baine, the same meaning, alluding to the 
reputed effects of the plants on cows that feed upon it. 

CARYOPHYLLACEiE. 

Saponaria officinalis — Soapwort, bruisewort. Gaelic : gairgean- 
cregach. Irish : gairbhin creugach, the bitter one of the rocks ; 
garbhion, bitterness, and creugach, rocky. The whole plant is bit- 
ter, and was formerly used to cure cutaneous diseases. Lus an 
shiabunn, the soapwort. Welsh : sebonllys, the same meaning 
{sebon, soap), Latin sapo, so called probably because the bruised 
leaves produce lather like soap. Soap was a Celtic invention. 

*' Prodest et sapo. Gallorum hoc inventum, 
Rutilandis capillis, ex sevo et cinere."— Pliny. 

Lychnis flos-cuculi — Ragged robin. Gaelic : plur na cubhaig, 
the cuckoo flower ; curachd na cubhaig, the cuckoo's hood. 

L. diurna — Red campion. Gaelic : ch-ean coileach, cockscomb ; 
in some places corcan coille, red woodland flower. 

L. githago — Corn-cockle. Gaelic : brogna cubhaig, the cuckoo's 



shoe. Luibh laoib/ieach, — laoi, day, and beachd^ to observe — ie., 
the plant observed for a day. Irish : cogall^ from coch (Welsh), 
red ; hence cockle. French : coquille. Welsh : gith, cockle or its 
seed, a corruption from githago, or 7>ice versa. 

Spergula arvensis — Spurrey. Gaelic: cltiain lin, — cluam, fraud, 
and li?i, flax — i.e., fraudulous flax. Carran, twisted or knotted. 
Scotch : yarr. Irish : cabrois, — cab, a head ; rois, polished. 

"Gun deanntag, gun charran." — M'Donald. 
Without nettle or spurrey. 

Arenaria alsine — Sandwort. Gaelic : flige, perhaps from fliche, 
water, growing in watery or sandy places. 

Stellaria media — Chickweed. Gaelic : fliodh, an excrescence 
(Armstrong), sometimes written fluth. Irish : lia, wetting 
(Gaelic : fluich, wet) ; compare also floch, soft (Latin : flaccus). 
Welsh : gwlydd, the soft or tender plant. 

S. Holostea — The greater stitchwort. Gaelic : iuirseach, sad, 
dejected. Irish : tursarrain, the same meaning ; and Stellaria 
graminea, tursarranin, the lesser stitchwort. Welsh : y wen?i- 
wlydd, the fair soft-stemmed plant, from gwenn and gwlydd, soft 
tender stem. 

Cherleria sedoides — Mossy cyphel, found plentifully on Ben 
Lawers. No Gaelic name, but seorsa coinich, a kind of moss. 

Cerastium alpinum — Mouse- ear chickweed. Gaelic : cluas an 
Inch, mouse-ear. 

LiNACEiE. 

Linum usitatissimum — Flax. Gaelic : Hon, gen. singular Dn. 
Welsh : llin. " Greek \ivov and Latin litnmi, a thread, are derived 
from the Celtic." — Loudon. 

" larraidh i olan agus lion." — Stuart (Job). 
She will desire wool and flax. 

L. catharticum — Fairy flax. Gaelic : Hon na bean sith^ fairy 
woman's flax ; miosach, monthly, from a medicinal virtue it 
was supposed to possess ; mio7iach, bowels ; Ins caolach, slender 
weed : compare also caolan, intestine (Latin : colon, the large 
intestine). Both names probably allude to its cathartic eff'ects. 
Stuart, in Lightfoot's * Flora,' gives these names in a combined 
form, — an caol miosachan, the slender monthly one. Irish : ceo- 
lag/i. 

^ This plant is sometimes called Curach na Cubhaig, and C^v//^?/— (hood 
or cowl). Latin : cucullus. 

B 



lO 



Malvace^. 
Latin : malvce, mallows. Gaelic : 7Haloimh, from Greek 
/xaAax>7, malache, soft, in allusion to the soft mucilaginous pro- 
perties of the plants, 

"A'gearradh sios maloimh laimh ris na preasaibh, agus freumlian aiteil 
mar bhiadh." — Stuart (Job xxx. 4). 

"Who cut up mallaivs by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat." 

Welsh : meddalai, what softens. Gaelic : mil mheacan^ honey- 
plant ; gropais or grobais (M'Donald) from Gothic, grab, English, 
grub, to dig. The roots were dug, and boiled to obtain mucilage. 

Malva rotundifolia — Dwarf mallow. Gaelic and Irish : ucas 
frangach, — ncas {xom Irish uc, need, whence uchd, a breast (Greek, 
oxOyj) — the mucilage being used as an emollient for breasts — 
2,x\di frangach, French — i.e., the French mallow. 

M. sylvestris — Common mallow. Gaelic : ucas fheadhair, wild 
mallow. 

Althaea officinalis — Marsh-mallow. Gaelic and Irish : leatn/iad, 
perhaps from leavihach, insipid ; fochas, itch, a remedy for the itch 
{pchas, itch). Welsh : morJwcys, — mor, the sea, and Jwcys, phlegm- 
producer, it being used for various pulmonary complaints. 

TlLIACE^. 

Tilia europea — Lime-tree, linden. Gaelic : craobh theile. Irish : 
crann teile, — tcile, a corruption from tilia. Welsh : pis gwyddeji. 

HvPERICACEiE. 

Hypericum perforatum — The perforated St John's wort. 
Gaelic and Irish : eala bhuidJie (sometimes written eala bhi), pro- 
bably from eai (for neul), aspect, appearance, and bJwidhe or bhi^ 
yellow. 

" An eala bhuidhe s'an noinean ban 
S'an t'sobhrach an gleann fas, nan luibh 
Anns am faigheadh an leighe Hath 
Furtach fiach, do chreuch a's leon." — Collath. 
In the glen where the St John's wort, the white daisy, and the primrose 
grow, the grey doctor will find a valuable remedy for every disease and 
wound. 

" The belief was common among the Caledonians that for all the 
diseases to which mankind is liable there grows an herb some- 
where, and not far from the locality where the particular disease 
prevails, the proper application of which would cure it." — 
M'Kenzie. 



** Soblirach a's eala bin 's baira neoinean. " — M'Intyrk. 
Primrose, St Johns wort^ and daisies. 

Alias Mhuire (M/wire, the Virgin Mary; allas^ perhaps another 
form of the preceding names) — Mary's image, which would agree 
with the word hypericum. According to Linnaeus it is derived 
from Greek vTrep, iij>er, over, and eiKwv, eikotij an image — that is 
to say, the superior part of the flower represents an image. 

Caod aslachan Chohim chille, from Coliim and cill (church, cell), 
St Columba's flower, the saint of Iona,.who reverenced it and 
carried it in his arms {caod, — (Irish) caodam, to come, and aslachan, 
arms), it being dedicated to his favourite evangelist St John.^ "For- 
merly it was carried about by the people of Scotland as a charm 
against witchcraft and enchantment " (Don). Welsh : y fendigaid, 
the blessed plant. French : la toute-same. English : tutsa^i. 

The badge of Clan M'Kinnon. 

ACERACE^E. 

(" Acer, in Latin meaning sharp, from ac, a point, in Celtic." — 
Du Theis.) 

Acer campestris — Common maple. Gaelic and Irish : craobh 
mhalip or malpais \ origin of name uncertain, but very likely 
from mal, a satchel or a husk, from the form of its samara. Some 
think the name is only a corruption of maple — Anglo-Saxon, 
fnapaL Welsh : masarnen. Gothic : masloenn (from mas, fat), 
from its abundance of saccharine juice. 

A. pseudo-platanus — Sycamore. Gaelic and Irish : craobh sice, 
a corruption from Greek sycaminos. The old botanists errone- 
ously believed it to be identical with the sycamine or mulberry-fig 
of Palestine. 

" Nam biodh agaidh creidimh, theiradh sibh ris a ckraobh shicamin so, 
bi air do spionadh as do fhreumhaibh." — Stuart. 

If ye had faith ye might say to this sycamore tree, Be thou plucked up by 
the root. — St Luke xvii. 6, 

Craobh pleantrinn, corruption of platanus or plane-tree. Irish : 
crann ban, white tree. Fir chrann, same meaning. 
The badge of Clan Oliphant. 

ViNIFER/E. 

Vitis (from the Celtic gwyd, a tree, a shrub. Spanish : vid. 
French : vigne). 

^ Similar ideas occur in other Irish names respecting this plant : Beach- 
nuadh Coliancille, beachnuadh beinionn, beachmiadh firionn, — beach, to em- 
brace ; nuadh, new ; beinionn^ a little woman ; firiomiy a little man. 



Vitis vinifera — Vine. Gaelic : cranii Jiofia, fio7ian. Irish : 
fion, wine. Greek : foiv-ov. Latin : vin-uin. Fioii dearc, a grape. 

Geraniace^.. 

(From Greek yepavog, geranos, a crane. The long beak that ter- 
minates the carpel resembles the bill of a crane ; English : crane- 
bill. Gaelic : C7'ol) priachain (Armstrong), the claw of any 
rapacious bird.) Lus-gnd-ghorm. (M'Kenzie.) Evergreen plant. 

Geranium Robertianum — Herb Robert. Gaelic and Irish : 
righeal cuil {kom righe, reproof, and cuiljUy, gnat, insect), the fly 
reprover. Riaghal cidl, also rial chuil^ that which rules insects ; 
Earbull righ {earbidl^ a tail). 

" Insects are said to avoid it." — Don, 

Ruidel, the red-haired. Liis an Eallan, the cancer weed. 
Righeal righ. Irish : righean righ, that which reproves a king 
(righ, a king), on account of its strong disagreeable smell. 
Welsh : troedrydd^ redfoot. Llysie Robert, herb Robert. 

G. sanguineum — Bloody cranesbill. Gaelic : creachlach dearg, 
the red wound - healer {creach, a wound). Gerajiium Roberti- 
anum and Gera7iium sangui^ieum have been and are held in 
great repute by the Highlanders, on account of their astringent 
and vulnerary properties. 

OXALIDACE^. 

(From Greek o^vs, oxys, acid, from the acid taste of the leaves.) 

Oxalis acetosella— Wood-sorrel. Gaelic : samh, shelter. It 
grows in sheltered spots. Also the name given to its capsules. 
Also summer. It may simply be the summer flower. 

*' Aig itheach saimh,^' eating sorrel. 

Seamrag. Irish : seami'og (shamrock) {seam, mild and gentle), 
little gentle one. Referring to its appearance. 

" 'L.Q-seami'agaji 's le neonainean, 

'S'gach lus a dh'fheudain ainmeachadh 

Cuir anbharra dhreach boidhchead air." — M'Intyre. 

With wood-sorrel and with daisies, 

And plants that I could name, 

Giving the place a most lieautiful appearance. 

Surag, the sour one ; Scotch : sourock (from the Armoric sur, 
Teutonic stier, sour). Welsh : surafi y gog, cuckoo's sorrel. 



13 

Gaelic : biadh nafi eoineafi, birds' food. Irish : billeog nan eun, 
the leaf of the birds. 

"Timcheall thulmanan diamhair 

Ma 'm bi'm biadh-ionain fas." — M 'Donald. 
Around sheltered hillocks 
"Where the wood-sorrel grows, 

Feada coil/e, candle of the woods, name given to tlie flower ; 
fead/i, a candle or rush. 

*' Mar sin is leasachan soilleir, 
Do ^\^ fheada-coille na'n cos." — M 'Donald, 
Like the flaming light 
Of the wood-sorrel of the caverns. 



Celastrace^e. 

Euonymus europseus — Common spindle-tree. Gaelic and 
Irish : oir^feoras, — oir, the east point, east. "^ tir an <?//','^from 
the land of the East {Oirip, Europe), being rare in Scotland and 
Ireland, but common on the Continent. Oir and feoir also 
mean a border, edge, limit, it being commonly planted in hedges. 
Whether the name has any reference to these significations it is 
very difficult to determine with certainty. Oir, the name of the 
thirteenth letter, O, of the Gaelic and Irish alphabet. It is 

letters were called after trees or 



worthy 


Df notice 


that all the 


plants :- 


— 






Gaelic. 


English. 


A . 


Ailm. 


Elm. 


B . 


Beite. 


Birch. 


C . 


Coll. 


Hazel. 


D . 


Dur. 


Oak. 


E . 


Eagh. 


Aspen. 


F . 


Fearn, 


Alder. 


G . 


Gath. 


Ivy. 


H . 


Huath. 


White-thorn 


I . 


logh. 


Yew. 



Gaelic. 


English. 


Luis. 


Quicken. 


Muir. 


Vine, 


Nuin. 


Ash. 


Oir. 


Spindle-tree. 


Peith. 


Pine. 


Ruis. 


Elder. 


Suil. 


Willow. 


Tin. 


Heath. 


Uir. 


Whitethorn. 



RHAMNACEiE. 

Rhamnus (from Gaelic ra7nh, Celtic rajn, a branch, wood). 
" Talamh nan ramh.'''' — Ossian. 
The country of woods. 

The Greeks changed the word to pd/xvos and the Latins to ramus. 
R. catharticus — Prickly buckthorn. Gaelic : ramh droig/iio?tfi^ 
prickly wood. W^elsh : rhafnwydden, — r/iaf, to spread; wydd, 
tree. 



Juglans regia — The Walnut. Gaelic : craobh-ghallchno^gall, 
a foreigner, a stranger ; cno^ a nut. 

Leguminifer^. 

Gaelic : luis feidhkagach, pod-bearing plants. Bar guc, papil- 
ionaceous flowers (Armstrong). Por-cochullach, leguminous. 
^^ Bar guc air mheuraibh nosara." — M'Intyre. 
Blossoms on sappy branches. 
Sarothamnus scoparius — Broom. Gaelic : bealaidh or beal- 
uidh (probably from beal^ Baal, and ludh^ favour), the plant 
that Belus favoured, it being yellow-flowered (see Caltha palustris). 
Yellow was the favourite colour of the Druids (who were wor- 
shippers of Belus), and also of the bards. Ossian describes the 
sun ^^ grian bhuidhe," the yellow sun ; MTntyre, his Isabel, as 

** Iseabel eg 
An or fhuilt bhuidhy 
Young Isabel with the golden-yellow hair. 

Irish : brum ; and Welsh : ysgiib. Gaelic : sguab, a brush made 
from the broom. Latin : scoparius. Giolcach sleibhe {giolc^ a 
reed, a cane, a leafless twig ; sleibhe, of the hill). 

The badge of the Clan Forbes. 

Cytisus laburnum — Laburnum. Gaelic : bealuidh frangach 
(in Breadalbane), in some parts sasunach, French or English 
broom (Ferguson). Frangach is very often affixed to names of 
plants of foreign origin. This tree was introduced from Switzer- 
land in 1596. Craobh obru?:, a corruption of laburnum. 

Ulex — Name from the Celtic ec or ac, a prickle (Jones). 

U. europseus — Furze, whin, gorse. Gaelic and Irish : couasg, 
from Irish co;ias, war, because of its armed or prickly appearance. 
Welsh : ei/hi/i, prickles. 

" Lan conasgis phreasaibh." — Old Song. 
Full of furze and bushes. 
Not common in the Highlands, but plentiful about Fortingall, 
Perthshire. 

Ononis arvensis — Rest - harrow. Gaelic and Irish : srcang 
bogha, bowstring. Welsh : tagadr, stop the plough ; eithiji yr eir, 
ground prickles. Scotch : caviniock, from Gaelic cafn, crooked. 

Trigonella ornithopodioides — Fenugreek, Greek hay. Gaelic : 
iormtag-greugach (Armstrong), Greek nettle ; crubh-eoi?i, Birds' 
shoe. Welsh : y grog-wryan. 

Trifolium repens — White or Dutch clover. Gaelic and Irish ; 



S€a?nar b/id?i, the fair gentle one (see Oxalis) ; written also sameir, 
siomrag, seaf?irag, sea?nrog. Wood-sorrel and clover are often con- 
founded, but scaniar bhdn is invariable for white clover, and for 
Trifolium procunibens, hop trefoil, samhrag hhuidhey yellow 
clover. 

'* Gach saimeir neonean 's masag." — M 'Donald. 
Every clover, daisy, and berry. 

"An \.-seamrag Vi\x\(t 's barr-gheal gruag, 
A's buidheann chuachach neoinein." — M'Lachuinn. 
The green white-headed clover. 
The yellow-cupped daisy. 

The badge of Clan Sinclair. 

T. pratense — Red clover. Gaelic : seamar chapuill^ the mare's 
clover. Captill, from Greek Ka/3dXXr)<Sj a work-horse. Latin : 
cabalhis^ a horse. Tri-bilean, trefoil, three - leaved. Welsh: 
tairdalen, the same meaning. Meil/onem, honeywort, from jnel, 
honey. Gaelic : stigag, Scotch sookie, the bloom of clover, so 
called because it contains honey, and children suck it. 

T. minus — Small yellow clover. Gaelic : seangajt, small, 
slender. 

T. arvense — Hare's-foot clover. Gaelic : cas maidhiche (Arm- 
strong), hare's foot. 

Lotus corniculata — Bird's-foot trefoil. Gaelic : barra mhis- 
lean, — barra^ top or flower ; mislean, anything that springs or 

grows. 

" Glacag misleanach." — Macfarlane. 
A grassy dell. 

Anthyllis vulneraria — Kidney vetch, or Lady's Fingers. 
Gaelic : ineoir Mhuire, Mary's fingers ; cas an uain, lamb's foot. 

Vicia^ sativa — Vetch. Gaelic and Irish : fiatghal^ nutritious 
(from \x\^fiadh, now written biadh, food) ; peasair fiadhain^ wild 
pease ; peasair chapttill^ mares' pease. Welsh : idbys, edible 
pease. Irish : pis feadhain^ wild pease \ pis dubh^ black peas. 

V. cracca — Tufted vetch. Gaelic : pesair nan Inch, mice 
pease ; pesair (Latin, pisum ; Welsh, pys ; French, pois, pease), 
are all from the Celtic root pis, a pea. 

V. sepium — Bush vetch. Gaelic : peasair na?n preas, the bush 
peas. 

Lathyrus pratensis — Yellow vetchling. Gaelic : peasair 
bhuidhe, yoWow peas. Irish : pis b/midhe, yellow peas. 

^ Vicia (from gwig^ Celtic, whence Greek fiiKiov, Latin vida, French vesce, 
English ve/c/i). — Loudon. 



i6 

Ervum hirsutum — Hairy vetch or tare (from et'v, Celtic— ^rj7, 
Latin, tilled land). Gaelic : peasair an arbhar, corn peas. Welsh : 
pysen y ceirch, — ceirch, oats. Gaelic : gall pheasair, a name for 
lentils or vetch. Gall, sometimes prefixed to names of plants 
having lowland habitats, or strangers. 

*' Lan do gkall pheasair," — Stuart, 2 Sam. 
Full of lentils. 

Faba vulgaris — Bean. Gaelic : ponair. Irish : poneir. Cor- 
nish : ponar (from the Hebrew ^^i:*, pul, a bean (Levi). Gaelic : 
ponair frangach, French beans ; ponair airfieach, kidney beans ; 
ponair chapuill, buckbean {Menyanihes trifoliata). 

" Gabh thugad fos cruithneachd agus eorna, s.g\x?, ponair, agns peasair, agus 
meanbh-pheasair, z.gws, peasair fhiadhain, agus cuir iad ann an aon soitheach, 
agus dean duit fein aran duibh. " — Stuart, Ezekiel iv. 9. 

"Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and 
millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof." 

Orobus tuberosus — Tuberous bitter vetch (from Greek, opw, 
oro, to excite, to strengthen, and /3ov5, an ox). Gaelic and Irish : 
^^/>/;z^«/ (Armstrong), — cair,d\g; meal, eY)]oy ; also mall; Welsh: 
moel, a knob, a tuber — i.e., the tuberous root that is dug ; corra- 
meille (M'Leod and Dewar). 

" Is clann bheag a trusa leolaicheann ^ 
Buain corr an co's nam bruachagan." — M'Intyre, 
Little children gathering . . , 
And digging the bitter vetch horn the holes in the bank. 

Corra, a crane, and meillg, a pod, the crane's pod or peas. 
Welsh : pys y garanod, crane's peas ; garan, a crane. " The 
Highlanders have a great esteem for the tubercles of the roots ; 
they dry and chew them to give a better relish to their whisky. 
They also affirm that they are good against most diseases of the 
thorax, and that by the use of them they are enabled to repel 
hunger and thirst for a long time. In Breadalbane and Ross-shire 
they sometimes bruise and steep them in water, and make an 
agreeable fermented liquor with them, called cairm. They have 
a sweet taste, something like the roots of liquorice, 'and when 
boiled are well flavoured and nutritive, and in times of scarcity 
have served as a substitute for bread " (Lightfoot). 

^ Leolaicheann, probably Trollius eiiropccus (the globe flower), from Ol, 
olachan, drink, . drinking. Children frequently use the globe flower as a 
drinking-cup. Scotch : higgie gowan, Luggie, a small wooden dish ; or it 
may be a corniption from trol or trollen, an old German word signifying 
round, in allusion to the form of the flower, hence Trollius. 



17 



Rosacea. 

(From the Celtic. Gaelic, ;w; Welsh, rhos ; Armoric, roscn ; 
Greek, poSov : Latin, rosa.) 

Prunus spinosa — Blackthorn, sloe. Gaelic : prcas nan air- 
neag, the sloe bush. Irish : air?te, a sloe. 

" Suilean air lidh airjteag.'" —Koss. 
Eyes the colour of sloes, 

Sgitheach dilbh, — the word sgiih ordinarily means weary, but it 
means also (in Irish) fear; dubh^ black, the fearful black one, but 
probably in this case it is a form of sgeach^ a haw (the fruit of the 
white thorn), the black haw. Welsh : eirinen ddjc, the black 
plum ; mj;/, a plum. 

" Crim sgitheach an aite criin righ. — M'Ellar. 
A crown of thorns instead of a royal crown, 

Droighionn dubh, the black penetrator (from dridd^ to penetrate, 
pierce, bore). Compare Qo\\\\q., ihi-uita ; Sanscrit,/;-///; Latin, 
//'//; Welsh, draen ; German, doj'n ; English, thorn. 

"Croin droignich 'on ear's o'niar." — Old Poem. 
Thorn-trees on either side. 

P. damascena — Damson. Gaelic and Irish : daimsin (corrup- 
tion). 

P. insititia — Bullace. Gaelic and Irish : bulastair. Com- 
pare Breton, bolos ; Welsh, biolas, sloes. 

P. domestica — Wild plum. Gaelic : plnmbais Jiadhainn, wild 
plum ; plnmbais seargta^ prunes. Latin : pnmiim. 

P. armeniaca — Apricot. Gaelic : apricoc. Welsh : bricyllen. 
Regnier supposes from the Arabic berkoch, whence the Italian 
albicocco, and the English apricot ; or, as Professor Martyn 
observes, a tree when first introduced might have been called 
a "praecox," or early fruit, and gardeners taking the article 
"a" for the first syllable of the word, might easily have corrupted 
it to apricots. 

P. cerasus — Cherry-tree. Gaelic : craobh shiris, a corruption 

of Cerasus, a town in Pontus in Asia, from whence the tree was 

first brought. 

'' Do bheul mar t' sh-is." 

Thy mouth like the cherry, 

Welsh : ceiriosen. 

^ Sgeach, also a bush. 
C 



p. padus — Bird cherry. Gaelic : craobh fhiodhag, from Jiodh, 
wood, timber ; fiodhach^ a shrubbery. 

P. avium — Wild cherry. Gaelic : geanais, the gean. French : 
guigne, from a German root. 

Amydalus communis — Almond, Gaelic : a?no?i, aw ghreugach, 
Greek nut. 

A. persica — Peach. Gaelic : peitseag, from the English. 

Spiraea ulmaria — Meadow - sweet, queen of the meadow. 
Gaelic : crios (or cneas) Chtt-chulainn.'^ The plant called *' My 
lady's belt" (M'Kenzie). "A flower mentioned by McDonald 
in his poem ' Alt an t-siucair^ with the English of which I am 
not acquainted " (Armstrong). 

It is not mentioned in the poem referred to, but in " Oran an't 
Samhraidh " — The Summer Song. 

" S'ciiraidh faileadh do mhuineil 

A chrios-Chu-Chulainn nan earn ! 
Na d' chruinn bhahaidean riabhach, 

Loineacli, fhad luirgneach, sgiamhacli. 
Na d' thuim ghiobagach, dreach mhin, 

Bharr-bhiiidhe, chasurlaich, aird ; 
Timcheall thulmanan diamhair 
Ma'm bi 'm biadh-ionain a fas. " — M'Donald. 

Sweetly scented thy wreath, 
Meadoiv-siveet of the cairns ! 
In round brindled clusters, 
And softly fringed tresses, 
Beautiful, tall, and graceful, 
Creamy flowered, ringleted, high ; 
Around sheltered hillocks 
Where the wood-sorrel grows. 

Welsh : llysiiiW forwyn^ the maiden's flower. 

S. filipendula — Dropwort. Gaelic and Irish : greaban — prob- 
ably from greadh, to prepare food. 

" A gread na cuilm." — OssiAK. 
Preparing the feast. 

Linnaeus informs us that, " in a scarcity of corn the tubers have 
been eaten by men instead of food." Or from greachy a nut. 
Welsh : crogedyf, — crogi, to suspend. The tuberous roots are sus- 
pended on filaments; hence the n^ixne?, JiHpendu/a and dropwort. 

^ Cu chullin's belt. Cuchullin was the most famous champion of the 
Ulster militia in the old Milesian times. He lived at the dawn of the 
Christian era. He was so called from Cu, a hound, and 67//;/, the name of 
the province. Many stories are still extant regarding him. 



19 

Geum rivale — Water avens.^ Gaelic: machalluisgc; in Irish : 
inacha^ a head, and all^ all — i.e.^ allhead — the flower being large 
in proportion to the plant. Uisge^ water. It grows in moist 
places only. 

G. urbanum — Common avens. Gaelic : machall coille^ — coille^ 
wood, where it generally grows. 

Dryas octopetala — White dryas. Gaelic : machall tnonaidh, 
the large-flowered mountain plant. (The name was given by an 
old man in Killin from a specimen from Ben Lawers in 1870.) 

Potentilla anserina — Silverweed, white tansy. Gaelic : bris- 
geaii (written also briosglan, hrislean)^ from briosg or brisg^ brittle. 
Brisgean inilis, sweet bread. " The brisgeaii, or wild skirret, is a 
succulent root not unfrequently used by the poorer people in 
some parts of the Highlands for bread " (Armstrong). 

The skirret (see Slum sisamni) is not native. The plant here 
alluded to is Potentilla anserina. Bar bhrisgean, the flower. 
Welsh : torlhvydd, from tori, to break. 

P. reptans — Cinquefoil. Gaelic : meangach, branched or 
twigged, — meang, a branch; because of its runners, its long 
leaf, and flower-stalks. Ctdg bhileach, five-leaved. Irish : cuig 
mhear Mhuire, Mary's five fingers. Welsh : blysiu'r pump, same 
meaning. 

P. tormentilla — Common potentil, or tormentil. Gaelic : 
leanariach (from leanar, passive of verb lean, to follow). So 
common on the hills that it seems to follow one everywhere. 
Bdrr braonan-nan-con, the dogs' briar bud. Braonajt fraocJi 
ifraoch, heather). Braonan, the bud of a briar (Armstrong). 
Braonan bachlag, the earth-nut {Bunium fiexuosuni) (M'Donald), 
from braoji, a drop. 

" Min-fheur chaorach is barra-bhraonan." — M'Intyre. 
Soft sheep grass and the flower of the tormentil. 

Irish : neatnhnaid, a pearl (in Gaelic : neonaid). Welsh : tresgl y 
moch. 

Comarum palustre — Marsh cinquefoil. Gaelic : cnig bhileach 
nisge, the water five-leaved plant 

Fragaria vesca — Wood strawberry. Gaelic: subh (or siUJi) 

1 AvenSy a river, from the Celtic an. Welsh : avon. Gaelic : abhainn. 
Many river names in Europe and Asia are derived from this root — e.g., 
Rhenus, the Rhine — reidh-an, the placid water. Garumnus, Garonne — 
garbh-an, the rough water. '^TVLXVQ. — niarbh-an, the dead water. Seine, a 
contraction of selmh-an, the smooth water, &c. 



thalmhain, the earth's sap, the earth's dehglit (from siibh or siigh, 
sap, juice; also deHght, pleasure, joy, mirth) ; thahnhain, of the 
earth. 

" T\\Q\ng subh-thalmhain nam bruach."— M'Donald. 
The wild strawberries of the bank are done. 

SiibJian laire, the ground sap ; tlachd subh, pleasant fruit. 

" Subhain laire s'faile ghroiseidean. " — M'Intyre. 
Wild strawberries and the odour of gooseberries. 

Sut/iag, a strawberry or raspberry. 

" Gur deirge n'ant stithag an ruthodh tha'd ghruidh." 
Thy cheeks are ruddier than the strawberry. 

Irish : catog, the strawberry bush. Cath, seeds (the seedy fruit). 
Welsh : mefusseii. 

Rubus (from rub, red in Celtic), in reference to the colour of 
the fruit in some species. 

Rubus chamsemorus — Cloudberry. Gaelic : oireag, variously 
wri XX^Xij^oighreag, foighreag, feireag. Irish : eireag (from cireacJid, 
beauty). 

" Breac \efdreagan is cruin dearg ceann." — M'Intyre. 
Checkered with cloudberries with round red heads. 

'' The cloudberry is the most grateful fruit gathered by the 
Scotch Highlanders " (Neill). 

The badge of Clan M'Farlane. 

Cruban-na sao?ia, " the dwarf mountain bramble." (O'Reilly, 
Armstrong, and others). Probably this is another name for the 
cloudberry, but its peculiar and untranslatable name furnishes no 
certain clue to what plant, it was formerly applied. 

R. saxatilis — Stone bramble. Gaelic : caora bad miann, the 
berry of the desirable cluster. Ruiteaga, redness, a slight tinge 
of red. 

R. idseus — Raspberry. Gaelic : preas siibh chraobh (craob/i, a 
tree, a sprout, a bud), the bush with sappy sprouts. 

** Faile nan suth-chraohh 
A's nan rosann."— M'Intyre. 
The odour of rasps and roses. 

Welsh : mafon, — maf, what is clustering. Gaelic: /r^^j shuidheag, 
the sappy bush. Stighag, the fruit (from si)g/i, juice, sap). 

R. fruticosus— Common bramble. Irish and Gaelic: dreas, 
plural dris. Welsh : dyrys, — the root rys, entangle, with prefix 



2f 

dy^ force, irritation. In Gaelic and Welsh the words dris and 
drysien are applied to the bramble and briar indiscriminately. 

" An dreas a fas gu h-urar," — Ossian. 

The bramble (or briar) freshly growing. 
" Am fear theid san droighionn domh 

Theid me san dris da." — Proverb. 

If one pass through thorns to me, 

I'll pass through brambles (or briars) to him. 

Grian mhuine, the thorn (bush) that basks in the sun. Dris 
muine, — muine, a thorn, prickle, sting. Smear phreas (Irish : 
sf?ieur), the bush that smears; smearag, that which smears (the 
fruit). Welsh : iniar, the bramble. {Miar or meiir in Gaelic 
means a finger.) Smearachd, fingering, greasing, smearing. (Com- 
pare Dutch, smeeren ; German, schmieren, to smear or daub.) 
DriS'Smear^ another combination of the preceding names. 

This plant is the badge of the Clan M'Lean. 

R. csesius — Blue bramble ; dewberry bush. Gaelic : preas- 
nan-gorm dhearc^ the blueberry bush. 

'* Bar gach tolmain fo h\vc2,t gbrm dhearc.^'' — M'Donald. 
Every knoll under a mantle of blueberries (dewberries). 

The blue bramble is the badge of the Clan M'Nab. 

Rosa canina — Dog-rose. Gaelic : coin ros, dogs' rose {coi?t, 
gen. plural of <:?/, a dog). Greek : x^-^^- Latin : amis. Sanscrit : 
amas. Irish : al Welsh : ki. 

Gaelic : com droighionn ^ dogs' thorn. Earrdhreas or fearra- 
dhrisj earrad, armour -, suggested by its being armed with prickles. 

" Mar mhucaigu^fearra-dhris.^^—WY.'LLAK. 
Like hips on the briar. 

Preas-nam-miicaig^ the hip bush — from nitic (Welsh: moch), a 
pig, from the fancied resemblance of the seeds to pigs, being 
bristly. Irish : sgeach mhadj^a, the dogs' haw or bush. Welsh : 
merddrain. Gaelic : ros^ rose j cultivated rose, rds gharaidh. 

*' Be sid an sealladh eibhinn ! 
Do bhruachan gle-^y^mr^;w." 
That was a joyful sight ! 
Thy banks so rosy red. 

R. rubiginosa — Sweet-briar {briar, Gaelic : a bodkin or pin). 
Gaelic : dris chubhraidh, the fragrant bramble. Irish : sgeach- 
chumhra, the fragrant haw or bush. Cuirdris, the twisting briar, 
— cuir^ gen. sing, of car^ to twist or wind. 



Agrimonia eupatoria — Agrimony. Gaelic : mur-dhraidhean, 
— 7Jiur^ sorrow, grief, affliction ; draidhean^ another form of 
dhroighionn (see Prunus spinosa). Draidh, or driiidh, also means 
a magician, which may refer to its supposed magical effects on 
troubles as well as diseases. A noted plant in olden times for 
the cure of various complaints. Irish : marbh dhroighionn, — 
marbh-dhruidh, a necromancer, or magician. Geiir bhileach, — 
geur^ sharp, sour, rigid; bhileach, leaved; — on account of its 
leaves being sharply serrated, or because of its bitter taste. 
Mirean nam magh, the merry one of the field. Welsh : y 
dorllwyd, the way to good luck, 

Sanguisorba — Burnet. A bhileach losgain. The leaves good 
•for burns and inflammations {losgadh, burning). 

Alchemilla vulgaris — Common Lady's Mantle. Gaelic : copan 
an druichd, the dew- cup ; falluing mhuire^ Mary's mantle. Irish: 
dhearna mhuire, Mary's palm. Gaelic : crub leo?nhainn, lion's 
paw; cota preasach nighcan an righ, the princesses' plaited gar- 
ment. Irish : leathach bhuidhe (leathach, divided). 

Alchemilla alpina — Alpine Lady's Mantle. Gaelic : trusgan, 
mantle. The satiny under-side of the leaves of this and the other 
species has given rise to the names trusgan, falluing, cota, and the 
English name, Lady's Mantle. 

'* Tha trusgan faoilidh air cruit an aonich." — M'Intyre. 
The mantle-grass on the ridge of the mountain. 

The hills about Coire-cheathaich and Ben Doran (the district 
described by the poet) are covered with this beautiful plant. 
The word trusgan, mantle, may be used in this instance in its 
poetic sense. 

Mespilus germanica — Medlar. Gaelic : cran vieidil (M'Don- 
ald), said to be a corruption of Mespilus. Greek : ^^(to%, half, 
and 7rtXo5, a bullet. The fruit resembles half a bullet. 

Crataegus oxyacantha — Whitethorn, hawthorn. Gaelic : sgith- 
each geal, di^ioghionn geal (see Prunus spinosa), gcal, white ; preas 
nan sgeachag; sgcach, a haw. Welsh : drae?ien wen, white thorn. 

'* Mios bog nan ubhlan breac-mheallachd ! 
Gu peurach phimbach sgeachagach, 
A' luisreadh sios le dearcagaibh, 
Cir, mhealach, beachach, groiseideach." — M'Lachuinn. 

Soft month of the spotted bossy apples ! 
Producing pears, phims, and haws, 
Abounding in berries, wax, 
Honey, wasps, and gooseberries. 



Uath or huath — the ancient Gaelic and Irish name — has 
several significations ; but the root seems to be hii (Celtic), that 
which pervades. Welsh : huad, that which smells or has a 
scent (Jmadgu^ a hound that scents). "The name hawthorn 
is supposed to be a corruption of the Dutch hoeg^ a hedge-thorn. 
Although the fruit is generally called a haw, that name is derived 
from the tree which produces it, and does not, as is frequently 
supposed, take its name from the fruit it bears." — Jones. Haw- 
thorn may only be a corruption of huad-di-aen, scented thorns. 
The badge of the Clan Ogilvie. 

Pyrus (from peren, Celtic for pear). Latin : pyj-nm. Armoric : 
per, Welsh : peren. French : poire. 

Pyrus communis — Wild pear. Gaelic : craohh pheurain fiad- 
hain (peur^ the fruit), the wild pear-tree. 

Pyrus malus — " Mel or mal^ Celtic for the apple, which the 
Greeks have rendered fxrjXov, and the Latins malusr — Don. 
Welsh : afal. Anglo-Saxon : oepl. Norse : apal, apple. Gaelic : 
ubhal; craobh iibhal fladhain, the wild apple-tree. 

*' Do mheasan milis cubhraidh 
Nan ubhlan 's 'nam/^^r." — M 'Donald. 

Thy sweet and fragrant fruits, 
Apples and pears. 

The old form of the word was adhul or abhiil. The culture of 
apples must have been largely carried on in the Highlands in 
olden times, as appears from lines by MerHn, who flourished in 
A.D. 470, of which the following is a translation:— 

"Sweet apple-tree loaded with the sweetest fruit, growing in the lonely 
wilds of the woods of Celyddon (Dunkeld), all seek thee for the sake of thy 
produce, but in vain ; until Cadwaldr comes to the conference of the ford of 
Rheon, and Conan advances to oppose the Saxons in their career. " 

This poem is given under the name of Afallaiiau, or Orchard, 
by which Merlin perhaps means Athol — i e., Abhal ox Adhul — 
which is believed by etymologists to acquire its name from its 
fruitfulness in apple - trees. Goirteag (from goirt, bitter), the 
sour or bitter one (the crab - apple). Cuairtagafi (the fruit) ; 
ciiairf, round, the roundies. Irish : cuei7't. 

" 'San m'an Ruadh-aisrigh ah'fhas na cuairtagan.'''' — M'Intyre. 
It was near the red path where the crab-apples grew. 



This plant is the badge of the Clan Lamont. 



24 

Pyrus aucuparia— Moiintain-ash, rowan-tree. Old Irish and 
Gaelic : luis^ drink {luisreog^ a charm). The Highlanders formerly 
used to distil the fruit into a very good spirit. They also be- 
lieved " that any part of this tree carried about with them would 
prove a sovereign charm against all the dire effects of enchant- 
ment or witchcraft." — Lightfoot (1772). Fiiinseag coille, the wood 
enchantress, or the wood- ash (see Circoea) ; a'aobh c/iaora7i, the 
berry -tree {caoi', a berry). Irish: pairtainn dearg, the red 
crab. 

" Bu dh'eirge a ghruidh na caoraii.'''' — Ossian. 
His cheeks were ruddier than the rowan. 

" Suil chorrach mar an dearcag, 
Fo rosg a dh-iathas dlu, 
Gruidhean mar na caoran 
Fo n' aodann tha leam cuin." — An cailin dileas donn. 

Thine eyes are like the blaeberry, 
Full and fresh upon the brae, 
Thy cheeks shall blush like the rowans 
On a mellow autumn day. 

(Translated by Professor J. S. Blackie.) 

This plant is the badge of the Clan M'Lachlan. 

Pyrus cydonia — Quince-tree. Gaelic : craohh chubmse, cor- 
ruption of quince, from French coignassa, pear-quince. Originally 
from Cydon in Candia. 

AURANTIACE^. 

Citrus aurantium — The orange. Gaelic : or vhhal, golden 
apple ; or mheas, golden fruit ; oraisd} from Latin aunim. 
Irish : or. Welsh : oyr^ gold. 

" 'S Phoebus dath na'n tonn 
Air fiamh ^rc'wjm, "—M 'Donald. 
And Phoebus colouring the waves 
With an orange tint. 

Citrus medica — Citron. Gaelic : craohh shitroin. 
Citrus limonum — Lemon. Gaelic : cra7i7i limoin. French : 
I'unon. Italian : limone. 

^ Spelt by M 'Donald properly orainis. His spelling generally is far from 
correct, and the same word often spelt different ways. He is also much 
given to translating a name from the English. — Fergusson. 



25 

Myrtace^. 
Punica granatum — Pomegranate. Gaelic : gran uhhal (^rdn, 
Latin, grani/m), grain-apple. 

"Tha do gheuga mar I'los ^dn tihhian, leis a'mlieas a's taitniche."— SoNG 
OF Solomon, 

Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates with pleasant fruits. 

(Now generally -^rxXX^Xi pomgranat in recent editions.) 

Myrtus communis — Myrtle. Gaelic : miortal. 

** An ait droighne fasaidh an guithas, agus an ait drise fasaidh am miortal." 
— Isaiah Iv. 13. 

Instead of the thorn shall grow the fir, and instead of the briar, the myrtle. 

Onagrace^. 

Epilobium montanum — Mountain willow-herb. Gaelic: an 
seileachan, diminutive of seileach (Latin : salix^ a willow), from 
the resemblance of its leaves to the willow. Welsh : helyglys^ 
same meaning. 

E. angustifolium — Rosebay. Gaelic : seileachan frangach, 
French willow. Feamainn (in Breadalbane), a common name for 
plants growing near water, especially if they have long stalks. 

Circsea lutetiana and alpina — Enchantress's nightshade. 
Gaelic and Irish : fuinnseach. Not improbably from Irish uinn- 
seach, playing the wanton — the reference being to the fruit, which 
lays hold of the clothes of passengers, from being covered with 
hooked prickles (as Circe is fabled to have done with her enchant- 
ments) ; Qxfuinn, a veil, a covering. The genus grows in shady 
places, where shrubs fit for incantations may be found. " Fuinn 
(a word of various significations), also means the earth; and seach^ 
dry — />., the earth-dryer. Fidnnseagal (another Irish name), 
from Seagal (Latin, secale), rye — i.e., ground-rye" (Brockie). Lus 
na Jt'oidhnan, the maiden's or enchantress's weed. 

LVTHRACEiE. 

Lythrum salicaria — Spiked lythrum, purple loosestrife. 
Gaelic : his an sith chainnt, the peace-speaking plant. 

" Chuir Dia oirnn craobh sith chainnf, 
Bha da'r dionadh gu leoir." — Ian Lom. 

God put the peace-speaking plant over us, 
Which sheltered us completely. 

The name also applies to the common loosestrife, suggested 
probably by the Greek Xvo-t? /xax^y, of which the English name 

D 



26 

'' loosestrife " is a translation. Irish: breallan leana. Breal, a 
knob, a gland. It was employed as a remedy for glandular 
diseases, or from the appearance of the plant when in seed. 
Breallan means also a vessel. The capsule is enclosed in the 
tube of the calyx, as if it were in a vessel. Lean^ a swamp. 
Generally growing in watery places. 

HALORAGEiE. 

Myriophyllum spicatum and alterniflorum. — Water -milfoil. 
Gaelic and Irish : snaithe bhatheadh (from snaiik, a thread, a 
filament; and bath, drown), the drowned thread. 

Grossulariace.e. 

Ribes, said to be the name of an acid plant. {Rheum '7'ibes, 
mentioned by the Arabian physicians, a different plant). More 
probably from the Celtic riob, rib, or reub, to ensnare or en- 
tangle, to tear — many of the species being prickly. Latin : ribes. 
Gaelic : spiontag, currant, gooseberry. Irish : spiontog, spin. 
Latin : spina, a thorn ; also spion, pull, pluck, tear away. Welsh : 
yspinem. 

Ribes nigrum — Black currant. Gaelic : raosar dubh, the black 
currant. Raosar (Scotch, rizzar — from French, raisin ; Welsh, 
rhyfion ; Old English, raisin tree), for red currant. 

R. rubrum — Red or white currants. Gaelic : raosar dearg or 
geal, red or white currants ; dearc frangach, French berry. 

R. grossularia — Gooseberry-bush. Gaelic : preas ghrosaid 
(written also groseag, grosaid), the gooseberry — from grossulus, 
diminutive of grossus, an unripe fig, — " so called because its 
berries resemble little half-ripe figs, grossi" (Loudon). French : 
groseille. Welsh : grwysen. Scotch : grozet, grozel. 

** Suthan-Iair's i?a\Q ghroscidcau.'''' — M'Intyre. 
Wild strawberry and the odour of gooseberries. 

Crassulace^. 

(From Latin, crassus, thick — in reference to the fleshy leaves and 
stem. Gaelic : crasag, corpulent.) 

Sedum rhodiola — Rose-root. Gaelic and Irish : lus nan laoch, 
the heroes' plant ; laoch, from the Irish, meaning a hero, a cham- 
pion, a term of approbation for a young man. 

The badge of the Clan Gunn. 

S. acre — Stonecrop, wall-pepper. Gaelic and Irish : grafan 
7ian clach, the stone's pickaxe. Welsh : flyddarlys, prick madam. 



27 

Also in Gaelic : glas-lann and glas ka/i, a green spot. Welsh : 
manion y cerg. 

S. telephium — Orpine. Scotch : orpie. Gaelic : orp (from the 
French, orpi/i). Lus nan /aogh, the calf or fawn's plant ; laog/i, 
a calf, a fawn, or young deer, a term of endearment for a young 
child. Irish : laogh. Welsh : Iho. Manx : leigh. Armoric : lue. 
Welsh : tekjifi (from Latin, telephium). 

Sempervirum tectorum — House - leek. Gaelic : his nan 
clitas^ the ear-plant (the juice of the plant applied by itself, or 
mixed with cream, is used as a remedy for the ear-ache) ; lus 
gharaidk, the garden-wort ; oi7p, sometimes written ?iorp (French, 
orpin); tin gealach, tineas 7ia gealaich, lunacy — tinn, sick, and 
gealack, the moon {geal, white, from Greek, yaXa, milk) ; — it be- 
ing employed as a remedy for various diseases, particularly those 
of women and children, and head complaints. Irish : sinicin^ 
the little round hill; tir-pin, the ground -pine. Welsh: llysie 
pen-ty, house-top plant. 

Cotyledon umbilicus — Navel -wort, wall -pennywort. Gaelic: 
lamha^ cat leacain, the hill- cat's glove. Irish : corn caisiol, the 
wall drinking-horn (from corn, a cup, a convex surface ; from its 
peltate round convex leaves). Latin : cor?iu, a horn. Welsh : 
corn. French : come ; and caisiol, a wall (or any stone building), 
where it frequently grows. 

SAXIFRAGACEiE. 

Saxifraga — Saxifrage. Gaelic: clock -bhriseach (Armstrong), 
stone - breaker — on account of its supposed medical virtue for 
that disease. Welsh : crotnil yr englyfi. 

S. granulata — Meadow saxifrage. Gaelic and Irish : moran, 
which means many, a large number — probably referring to its 
many granular roots. 

Chryosplenium oppositifolium — Golden saxifrage. Gaelic : 
Ills nan laogh (the same for Sedu?n telephium). Irish : clabrus, 
from clabar, mud, growing in muddy places ; gloiris, from gloire, 
glory, radiance, — another name given by the authorities for the 
" golden saxifrage ; " but they probably mean Saxifraga aizoides, 
a more handsome plant, and extremely common beside the 
brooks and rivulets among the hills. 

^ This is what I always heard it called; but M 'Donald gives ;/(?;-;/, and in 
the Highland Society's Dictionary it is given creamh-garaidh, evidently a 
translation by the compilers, as they give the same name to the Leek. — 

Fergusson. 



28 

Parnassia palustris — Grass of Parnassus. Shaw gives the 
w^xviQ fionnsgoth {Jtonn, white, pleasant, and sgoth, a flower), *'a 
flower," but he does not specify which. Finonati geal has also 
been given as the name in certain districts, which seems to indi- 
cate i\\2X fionnsgoth is the true Celtic name. 

ARALIACEiE. 

Hedera — " Has been derived from hedra^ a cord, in Celtic " 
{Loudon). 

Hedera helix — Ivy. Gaelic : eidheann, that which clothes or 
covers (from eid, to clothe, to cover) ; written also eigheann (eige, 
a web), eidkne, eitheann. 

" Spionn an eitheann o'craobli." — Old Poem. 

Tear the ivy from the tree. 
" Eitheann nan crag." — OssiAN. 

The rock-ivy. 

" Briseadh tro chreag nan eidheann dlu' 
Am fuaran iir le torraman trom," — MiANN A Bhard Aosda. 
Let the new-born gurgh'ng fountain gush from the ivy-covered rock. 

Faithleadgh, Irish : faithla/i, that which takes hold or possession. 
Welsh : iiddew (from eiddiaw, to appropriate). Irish : aighneami 
(from aighne, aflection), that which is symbolic of affection, from 
its clinging habit. Gort, sour, bitter — the berries being unpal- 
atable to human beings, though eaten by birds. lalluin (from 
iall^ a thong, or that which surrounds ); perhaps from the same 
root as helix. Greek : ctAcw {eileo^ to encompass) ; also iadh- 
shial, the twig that surrounds, — a name likewise given to the 
honeysuckle {Lonicera periclymenum), because it twines like the 
ivy — 

** Mar iadh-shlat ri stoc aosda." 
Like an ivy to an old trunk. 
An gdfh, a spear, a dart. 

The badge of the Clan Gordon. 

CORNACE^. 

Cornus (from Latin : cornu, a horn). Gaelic : corn. French : 
come. " The wood being thought to be hard and durable as 
horn." 

Cornus sanguinea — Dogwood, cornel-tree. Gaelic : coin-bhil, 
dogwood ; cotibhaiscne, dog-tree {baiscne, Irish, a tree). Irish : 
crann coirneL cornel-tree. 



29 

C. suecica — Dwarf cornel, — literally, Swedish cornel. Gaelic 
and Irish : lus-a-chraois, plant of gluttony {craos, a wide mouth ; 
gluttony, appetite). " The berries have a sweet, waterish taste, 
and are supposed by the Highlanders to create a great appe- 
'tite, — whence the Erse name of the plant" (Stuart of Killin). 

Umbellifer^. 

Hydrocotyle vulgaris — Marsh pennywort. Gaelic : Ins na 
peig/ii/iji, the pennywort. Irish : ins na pinghine (O'Reilly), 
from the resemblance of its peltate leaf to dipeighinuj — a Scotch 
penny, or the fourth part of a shilling sterling. 

Eryngium maritimum — Sea-holly. Gaelic and Irish : cuileann 
trdgku, sea-shore holly. (See Ikx aqiiifolium). Welsh : y mor 
geiyn., sea-holly {celynen, holly). 

Sanicula europaea — Wood sanicle. Gaelic : boda7i coille, wood- 
tail, — the little old man of the wood. Irish : caogjua, — caog, to 
wink. Byline, an ulcer, — a noted herb, " to heal all green wounds 
speedily, or any ulcers. This is one of Venus, her herbs, to cure 
either wounds or what other mischief Mars inflicteth upon the 
body of man" (Culpepper). Welsh: dust yr arth, bear's-ear. 

Conium maculatum — Hemlock. Gaelic : minmhear (ShaAv), 
— smooth or small fingered, or branched, in reference to its foli- 
age ; niongach nihear, and muinmhear, — mojig and muing, a 
mane, from its smooth, glossy, pinnatifid leaves. Mmbhar, soft- 
topped or soft-foliaged. Iteodha, iteotha, — ite, feathers, plumage. 
The appearance of the foliage has evidently suggested these 
names, and not the qualities of the plant, although it is looked 
upon still with much antipathy. 

" Is coslach e measg chaich 

Ri iteodha an garadh." — M'Intyre. 
Among other people he is like a hemlock in a garden. 
" Mar so tha breilheanas a' fas a nios, mar an iteotha ann claisibh na mach- 
rach."~ Hos. x, 4. 

Thus judgment springeth up like a hemlock in the furrows of the field. 

Welsh : gwin dillad, pain-killer. Manx : aghue. 

'' Ta'n aghue veg shuyr da'n aghue vooar." — Manx Proverb. 
The little hemlock is sister to the big hemlock. 
(A small sin is akin to the great one.) 

Cicuta virosa — Water-hemlock. " The hemlock given to 
prisoners as poison " (Pliny) ; and that with which Socrates was 
poisoned. Gaelic and Irish : feal/a bog, the soft deceiver; fca/l, 



30 

treason, falsehood ; and feallair (feali /hear), a deceiver,' — from 
the some root (Latin, /<7//c7, to deceive). Welsh: cegid. Latin: 
cicnta. 

Sinyrnium olusatrum — Alexanders. Gaelic : Ins nan gran 
dubh, the plant with black seeds, — on account of its large black 
seeds. It was formerly eaten as a salad or pot-herb, whence, 
and from its blackness, the name olusatrum (Latin : olus, a vege- 
table, and ater, black). " ' Alexanders,' because it was supposed 
to have been brought from Alexandria " (Ray). 

Apium (from Celtic root, abh, a fluid or water, Latinised into 
apmm). 

Apium graveolens — Smallage, wild celery. Gaelic : lus ?ia 
smalaig, a corruption of smallage. Pearsal inJwr, the large pars- 
ley. Irish : meirse. Greek : /xeipa, to divide ; or Anglo-Saxon : 
merse , a lake, sea. Latin : 7nare, — marshy ground being its habi- 
tat. Welsh : persli frcngig, French parsley. 

Petroselinum sativum — Parsley. Gaelic : pearsal (corruption 
from the Greek, Trcrpos, pelros, a rock, and a-eXivov, selinon, 
parsley). Afumean M/iuire, Mary's sprouts. Welsh : persli. 

Heliosciadium inundatum — Marshwort. Gaelic : fualadar 
ijxoxn fual, water). The plant grows in ditches, among water. 

Carum carui — Caraway. Scotch : carvie ; Gaelic : carbhaidh 
(a corruption from the generic name), from Caria, in Asia Minor, 
because it was originally found there ; — also written carbhinn. 

" Cathair ihalmha.nta's card Atnn chroc cheannach." — M'Intyre. 
The yarrow and the horny-headed caraway. 

Zf^s Mhic Chuimein^ M'Cumin's wort. The name is derived from 
the Arabic gamoiin, the seeds of the plant Cuminum cyniinuni 
{cu?nm), which are used like those of caraway. 

Bunium flexuosum — The earth-nut. Gaelic: braonan bhuachail, 
the shepherd's drop (or nut) ; brao?ia?i bachlaig (Shaw) ; aw 
thalmhainn, — cno, a nut, thabnhahm, earth, — ploughed land, 
ground. (Hebrew : D"'^'r, tilimy ridges, heaps ; D^P, talam, break, 
as into ridges or furrows, — heap up. Latin : tellus. Arabic : 
tel). Irish : caor thalmhaijin, earth-berry ; colrearan muic, pig- 
berries, or pig-nuts. Cut/iarlati, a plant with a bulbous root. 

Foeniculum vulgare — Fennel. Gaelic : lus an fsaiodk, the 
hay weed. Fineal, from \^2X\x\, foenum, hay, — the smell of the 
plant resembling that of hay. Irish : fineal chumhthra {cumhra^ 
sweet, fragrant). Welsh : ffenigl. 

Ligusticum, from Liguria, where one species is common. 



31 

Ligusticum scoticum — Lovage. Gaelic : siu?ias, from swn^ 
a blast, a storm, — growing in exposed situations. In the Western 
Isles, where it is frequent on the rocks at the sea-side, it is some- 
times eaten raw as a salad, or boiled as greens. 

Levisticum oficinale i — Common lovage. Gaelic : luibh an 
liugair, the cajoler's weed. It was supposed to soothe patients 
subject to hysterics and other complaints. Irish : lus an 
liagaire, the physician's plant, from which the Gaelic name is a 
corruption. Welsh : di/lys, the dusky plant. 

Meum athamanticum— Meu, spignel, baldmoney. Gaelic: 
viuikeaun. Scotch : 7nickcji^ — muilceann^ possibly from intiil^ 
a scent ; muleideachd, a bad smell (Shaw) ; ceann^ a head or 
top. The whole plant is highly aromatic, with a hot flavour like 
lovage. Highlanders are very fond of chewing its roots. 

Angelica — (So named from the supposed angelic virtues of 
some of the species). 

A. sylvestris — Wood angelica. Gaelic : lus nam buadha, the 
plant having virtues or powers. Cuinneog mhighe, the whey 
bucket. Galluran, perhaps from gall (Greek : gala), milk, from 
its power of curdling milk ; for this reason, hay containing it 
is considered unsuitable for cattle. Irish : cofitran. Aingcalag: 
angelica. 

Crithmum maritimum— Samphire. Gaelic : saimbhir, a cor- 
ruption of the French name St Pierre (St Peter), from Greek, 
Trer/oa, a rock or crag. (The samphire grows on cliffs on the 
shore). Gaelic : lus nan cnamh, the digesting weed ; cnamh 
(from Greek : ;(ma) ; Welsh : cnoi ; Irish : aia'oi), chew, digest. 
The herb makes a good salad, and is used medicinally. Irish : 
grioloigm, — griol, to slap, to strike. 

Peucedanum ostruthium — Great masterwort. Gaelic : mhr 
fhliodh (Armstrong), the large excrescence, or the large chick- 
weed. 

P. oflBlcinale — Hog-fennel or sow-fennel. Gaelic : fineal sraide 
(Shaw), — sraide, a lane, a walk, a street. This plant is not found 
in Scotland, but was cultivated in olden times for the stimulating 
qualities attributed to the root. 

^ Levisticum, from Latin, levo, I assuage. 

'^ In Invernesshire, bricin or bricin diibh, perhaps from bri, juice ; or, as 
mentioned in Lightfoot, vol. i. p. 158, as Sibbald says it grows on the banks 
of the Breick Water in West Lothian, may not some native of the banks of 
the Breick have given it this local name in remembrance of seeing it growing 
on the banks of his native Breick ?— Fergusson. 



32 

Anethuni graveolens — Strong - scented or common dill. 
Gaelic and Irish : dile (M'Donald) (Latin : diligo), — dile, a 
word in Gaelic meaning love, affection, friendship. The whole 
plant is very aromatic, and is used for medicinal preparations. 

Slum (from stu, " water in Celtic," I.oudon), perhaps from 
sjo (Gothic), water, lake, sea. 

S. sisarum — Skirrets. Gaelic : criwiagan (Shaw), from croin^ 
bent, crooked, from the form of its tubers. The tubers were 
boiled and served up with butter, and were declared by Worl- 
ridge, in 1682, to be "the sweetest, whitest, and most pleasant 
of roots ; " formerly cultivated in Scotland under the name of 
" crummock," a corruption of the Gaelic name. 

S. angustifolium — Water-parsnip. Gaelic : folachdan (Arm- 
strong), from folac/id, luxuriant vegetation ; a?i, water. Irish : 
cosadh dubhadh, the great water-parsnip (O'Reilly), {cos, a foot, 
stalk, shaft, and dub/i, great, prodigious). 

Pastinaca sativa — Parsnip. Gaelic : meacan-an-righ, the 
king's root, royal root. Oirran geal (from cur, to sow, geal, 
white). Irish : cuiridin ban, the same meaning {cuirwi, I plant 
or sow). Welsh: moro7i gwyjiion, ^^Xd^cdsroi. 

.ffigopodium podagraria — Goat-, gout-, or bishop - weed. 
Gaelic : lus an easbuig, — easbuig, a bishop. A name also given to 
Chrysanthemum leucanthe7num, but with a different signification. 

Heracleum sphondylium — Cow-parsnip. Gaelic : odharan, 
from odhar (Greek : iiiyjio<i ; English : ochre), pale, dun, yellow- 
ish, in reference to the colour of the flower. Meacan-a-chruidh^ 
the cow's plant.' The plant is wholesome and nourishing for 
cattle. Gtinnachan sputachain, squirt -guns. Children's name 
for the plant, because they make squirt-guns from its hollow 
stems. 

Daucus carota — Carrot. Gaelic : curran (from cur, to sow), 
a root like that of the carrot. Carrait, corruption from carota, 
which is said to be derived from the Celtic root car, red, from 
the colour of the root. Mura7t — (Welsh : moron), a plant with 
tapering roots. Irish : cuiTan bhiiidhe, the yellow root. 
" Miiran brioghar 's an grunnasg lionmhar." — M'Intyre. 
The sappy carrot and the plentiful groundsel. 

Irish : mugoman, — mugan, a mug, from the hollow bird's-nest- 
like flower. 

( cerif olium, \ 
Anthriscus <| vulgaris, I — Chervil. Gaelic: costag, a 

( temulentum ) 



33 

common name for the chervils (from cost, an aromatic plant ; 
Greek : koo-to^, kostos, same meaning). Costag a bhaile gheamh- 
raidh {bhaile ghea?nkraidh, cultivated ground). " A. vulgaris 
was formerly cultivated as a pot herb" (Dr Hooker). 

Myrrhis (from Greek : /xrpov, myron, perfume ; Gaelic : 7iiiri\ 
— tus agiis mirr, frankincense and myrrh). 

M. odorata — Sweet cicely or great chervil. Gaelic : cos uisge 
(Shaw), the scented water-plant.^ " Sweet chervil, gathered while 
young, and put among other herbs in a sallet, addeth a marvel- 
lous good relish to all the rest " (Parkinson). 

Coriandrum (a name used by Pliny, derived from Kopts, coj'is, 
a bug, from the fetid smell of the leaves). 

C. sativum — Coriander. Gaelic : coireinian, — lus a choire, cor- 
ruptions from the Greek. It is still used by druggists for various 
purposes, and by distillers for flavouring spirits. 

LORANTHACE^. 

Viscum album — Mistletoe. Gaelic and Irish : iiile- ice 
{uile, Welsh: hall or all; Goth.: alls ; German: aller ; A. S.: 
eal ; English : all ; ice, Welsh : tare, a cure or remedy), a nos- 
trum, a panacea (M'Donald), all-heal. Armoric : all-yiach. 
Welsh : oll-iach. Irish : uile iceach. This is the ancient Druid- 
ical name for this plant. Pliny tells us, " The Druids (so they 
call their Magi) hold nothing in such sacred respect as the 
mistletoe, and the tree upon which it grows, provided it be an 
oak. ' Omnia sanantem appellantes suo vocabulo.' (They 
call it by a word signifying in their own language All-heal.) 
And having prepared sacrifices, and feast under the tree, they 
bring up two white bulls, whose horns are then first bound ; the 
priest, in a white robe, ascends the tree, and cuts it off with a 
golden knife ; it is received in a white sheet. Then, and not 
till then, they sacrifice the victims, praying that God would 
render His gift prosperous to those on whom He had bestowed it. 
When mistletoe is given as a potion, they are of opinion that it 
can remove animal barrenness, and that it is a remedy against 
all poisons." Druidh-lus, the Druid's weed. " The proper 
etymology is the ancient Celtic vocable dru, an oak, from which 
8/}vs is taken " (Armstrong). Siigh dharaich, the sap or sub- 
stance of the oak, because it derives its substance from the oak, 
it being a parasite on that and other trees. {Silgh, juice, sub- 

^ In Braemar it is commonly called wz'rr. — Ed. 'Scottish Naturalist.' 

E 



34 

stance, sap ; Latin : sucais). Irish : guis, viscous, sticky, on 
account of the sticky nature of the berries. French : gut. 

Caprifoliacete. 

Sambucus nigra — Common elder. Gaelic and Irish: ruis, 
meaning "wood." "The ancient name of the tree, which in the 
vulgar Irish is called tro?n " (O'Reilly) ; druman or droman 
(Sanscrit : dm, wood, tree ; driinias, wood). Welsh : ysgawen, 
elder. 

S. ebulus — Dwarf elder. Gaelic and Irish : fliodh a hhalla^ 
the wall excrescence. Miilart "seems to be the same as the 
Welsh word nnvyllartaith {triwylly emollient, and artaith^ tor- 
ment ") (Brockie). It was esteemed a powerful remedy for the 
innumerable ills that flesh is heir to. Mulabhar {imil^ a multi- 
tude, and har^ top) may only be a corruption of viulart. The 
specific name is from ev/SoXy, eiihole^ an eruption. Welsh : 
ysgawen Mair, Mary's elder. 

Viburnum opulus — Guelder-rose, Water -elder. Gaelic: 
r(?/r-/^^^;/, heal wax (Latin: cera; Greek: x^P^^^ Welsh: nay?; 
wax), the healing, wax like plant, from the waxy appearance of 
the flowers. 

V. lantana— Wayfaring tree. Gaelic : craobh fiadhaiu (Arm- 
strong), the wild or uncultivated tree. 

Lonicera periclymenum — Woodbine, honeysuckle. Gaelic: 
uillean (elbows, arms, joints) elbow-like plant; feith, feithlean. 
Irhh : feafhiog, fethkn, hom feit/i, a sinew, tendon, suggested by 
its twisting, sinewy stems. Lus na meala^ the honey-plant, from 
mil (Greek : /xcXt ; Latin : mel), honey. Deolag^ or dcoghalag^ 
from deothail^ to suck. Irish : cas fa chi'ann^ that which twists 
round the tree. Baine gamhnach (O'Reilly), the yearling's milk. 
A somewhat satirical name, implying that the sucking will pro- 
duce scanty results. In Gaelic, iadh shlat is frequently applied 
both to this plant and to the ivy (see Hedera helix). Welsh : 
givyddfd^ tree-climber or hedge-climber. 

RUBIACE^. 

Rubia tinctorum — Madder. Gaelic : madar (Armstrong). 
Galium aparine— Goose-grass ; cleavers. Gaelic: garbh lus, 

^ In Strathardle and many other districts, Icum-a-chrann {leum, jump, 
cranii, a tree) alluding to its jumping or spreading from tree to tree. High. 
Soc. Diet, gives duilUur-fUthlean, probably from its darkening whatever 
grew under it. — Fergusson. 



35 

the rough weed. Irish : airmeirg, from airm, arms, weapons, 
from its stem being so profusely armed with retrograde prickles. 

G. saxatile (Armstrong) — Heath bedstraw. Madar fraoc/i, 
heath madder. It grows abundantly among heather. O'Reilly 
gives this name also to G. verum. 

G. verum — Yellow bedstraw. Ruin, ?'uamh, from ruad/i, red. 
" The Highlanders use the roots to dye red colour. Their 
manner of doing so is this : The bark is stripped off the roots, 
in which bark the virtue principally lies. They then boil the 
roots thus stripped in water, to extract what little virtue remains 
in them ; and after taking them out, they last of all put the bark 
into the liquor, and boil that and the yarn they intend to dye 
together, adding alum to fix the colour" (Lightfoot). 

Lus an Icasaich (in Glen Lyon) the rennet-weed. " The rennet 
is made as already mentioned, with the decoction of this herb. 
The Highlanders commonly added the leaves of the Uriica 
dioica or stinging-nettle, with a little salt " (Lightfoot). Irish : 
baladh chnis (O'Reilly), the scented form [baladh, odour, scent, 
cneas, form). 

Asperula odorata — Woodruff. Gaelic : lusa-caitheamh} Pro- 
bably the Irish name baladh chnis, the scented form, is the wood- 
ruff, and not the lady's bedstraw ; it is more appropriate to the 
former than to the latter. 

Valerianacete. 

Valeriana officinalis — Great wild valerian. Gaelic : an tri- 
bhileach (M'Kenzie) ; lus na tri bhilean (Armstrong), the 
three-leaved plant, from the pinnate leaves and an odd terminal 
one, forming three prominent leaflets. Irish: lus na itri ballan, 
the plant with three teats {ballan, a teat) ; perhaps from its three 
prominent stamens (Brockie) ; carthan curaigh {carthan, useful, 
curaigh, a hero, a giant) — i.e., the useful tall plant. Welsh: 
y llysiewyn, the beautiful plant ; y di'i-aglog {dri, three, aglog, 
burning ; from its hot bitter taste). 

V. dioica — Marsh or dwarf valerian. Irish: carthan arraigh, 
from arrach, dwarf; caoirifi leana, that which gleams in the 
marsh, {caoir, gleams, sparks, flames, flashes; leana, a swamp, 
a marsh). Although this plant is not recorded from Ireland, yet 
the names only occur in the Irish Gaelic. 

^ Lusa-caitheajnh, the consumption herb, as it was much used for that 
disease. — Fergusson. 



36 



DlPSACE^. 

Dipsacus sylvestris ) Teasel, 

,, fullonum j Teasel, or fuller's teasel. Gaelic : 
leadan^—liodan ; liodtm an fhucadair {leadan or liodan^ a head 
of hair, fucadair, a fuller of cloth) ; used for raising the nap 
upon woollen cloth, by means of the hooked scales upon the 
heads of the fuller's teasel. Irish : iaga. Welsh : llysie y cribef, 
carding plant, from crib, a comb, card. 

Scabiosa succisa — Devil's bit scabious. Gaelic and Irish : 
ura bhallach [ur, fresh, new ; ballach, from ball, a globular body, 
from its globular-shaped flower-heads, or ballach, spotted. This 
old Celtic word is found in many languages. Greek : PaXkai. 
German : ball) Urach mJmllaick, bottle-topped {iirach, a bottle, 
from the form of the flower-head ; mullach, top). Odhai'ach 
mhiillaich, a corruption of urach. {Odhar means dun or yel- 
lowish, but the flower is blue). Grcim an diabhail (O'Reilly), 
devil's bit, from its praemorse root, the roots appearing as if 
bitten off. According to the old superstition, the devil, envy- 
ing the benefits this plant might confer on mankind, bit away 
a part of the root, hence the name. Welsh : y glafrllys, from 
clafr, claivr, scab, mange, itch ; translation of scabiosa, from 
scabies, the itch, which disorder it is said to cure. 

Knautia arvensis — Corn-field knautia (so named in honour 
of C. Knaut, a German botanist) or field scabious. Gaelic : gille 
guirniein, the blue lad. Irish : caba deasain, the elegant cap ; 
caba, a cap or hood ; and deas, neat, pretty, elegant. Bodach 
gorm, the blue old man. 

Composite. 

Helminthia echioides — Ox-tongue. Gaelic : boglus (Arm- 
strong), a corruption from the Irish ; bolglus, ox-weed, from bolg, 
a cow, an ox. A name also given to Lycopsis arvensis. Bog 
luibh, same meaning. 

Lactuca sativa — Lettuce. Gaelic and Irish : liatiis, lettuce, 
a corruption from lactuca (Latin : lac^ milk), on account of the 
milky sap which flows copiously when the plant is cut ; luibh 
inite, the eatable plant. Irish : billeog 7nath, the good leaf. 
Welsh : gwylath, gwyfluid, lacth, milk. 

Sonchus oleraceus — Common sow - thistle, milk - thistle. 
Gaelic and Irish : bog ghioghan, the soft thistle. Irish : giogan, 
a thistle. Baine niuic, sow's milk. 



37 

S. arvensis — ^Gaelic : hlioch fochain, the corn milk-plant; blioch, 
milky ; focha;i, young corn. Welsh : llaet/i ysgalkfi, milk-thistle 
(ysgal/eii, a thistle). 

Hieracium pilosella — Mouse-ear hawkweed. Gaelic : duas 
Inch, mouse-ear ; duas Hath, the grey ear. 

H. murorum — Wall hawkweed. Irish : sriibhan na muc^ the 
pig's snout {snibh, a snout). 

Taraxacum dens-leonis — Dandelion. Gaelic : bearnan bride. 

•* Am bearnan bride s'a pheighinn rioghil." — M'Intyre. 
The dandelion and the penny-royal. 

Beam, a notch, from its notched leaf; biide^ from brigh, sap, 
juice, with which the plant abounds; bior nam bride {bior, sharp, 
tooth-like) ; Jiacal leomhain, lion's teeth. Welsh : dant y Hew, 
the same meaning as dandelion {dent de lion) and leontodon (Xccui/, 
a lion ; and o^ov^, a tooth), from the tooth like formation of the 
leaf. Castearbhan nam muc (Shaw) — The pig's sour-stemmed 
plant. Irish : caisearbhan^ cais-t" searbhain^ castearbhan {cais^ a 
word of many significations, but here from cas, a foot ; caiseag, 
the stem of a plant ; searbh, bitter, sour). 

Cichormm intybus — Succory or Chicory. Gaelic : Ins an t- 
snicair, a corruption from cichoriimi, which was so named from 
the Egyptian word chikoiiryeh, Pliny remarks that the Egyp- 
tians made their chicory of much consequence, as it or a similar 
plant constituted half the food of the common people. It is 
also called in Gaelic castearbhan, the sour-stemmed plant. 

C. endiva — Endive. Gaelic : enach ghdraidh {e?iach, corrup- 
tion of endiva, "from the Arabic name hendibeh'^ (Du Theis), 
gdradh, a garden). Welsh : ysgali y meirch, horse- thistle. 

Lapsana communis — Nipple-wort. Gaelic : duilieag mhaith, 
the good leaf; duilieag mhtn, the smooth leaf Irish : duilleog 
bhrighid, the efficacious leaf, or perhaps St Bridget's leaf, the 
saint who, according to Celtic superstition, had the power of 
revealing to girls their future husbands. French : herbe aux 
manielleSj having been formerly applied to the breasts of women 
to allay irritation caused by nursing. Duilleog bhraghad, or 
braighe, the breast-leaf. 

^ " Most certainly br)de comes from its being in flower plentifully on latha 
fheill-bride.'" — Fergusson. 

Bride is also a corruption of Bbrighii, St Bridget. Latha F/ieill-Brig/ide, 
Candlemas, St Bridget's Day. 



3« 

" Tha do phog mar iibhlan garaidh, 
'S tha do bhraighe mar an neoinean."— M'Intyre, Ovan Gaoil. 
Thy kiss is like the apples of the garden, 
And thy bosom like the daisy. 

" If it was used by the French for rubbing the breasts, nothing 
seems more likely than that it would be also so used by the 
Celts of Ireland and Scotland, which would at once give it the 
name oi dulleog braghad'' (Fergusson). 

Arctium — Celtic : ^r/, a bear. Greek : apKTos, from the 
rough bristly hair of the fruit. 

A. lappa — Burdock. Gaelic and Irish : suiiHchean suirich, the 
foolish wooer {suiriche, a fool ; suirich, a lover or wooer); seircean 
suirick, affectionate wooer {seirc, affection). Mac-an-dogha,^ 
the mischievous plant {niac-an for ineacau, a plant) ; dog/iadh, 
mischievous (Shaw). Mcacaii-tobhach-dubh, the plant that seizes 
(tobhach, wrestling, seizing, inducing; djibh, black, or large). 
Leadan liosda {leadan^ a head of hair ; liosda^ stiff). Irish : copag 
tiiaithil, the ungainly docken ; ceosaji, the bur, or fruit. 

"Mar cheosan air sgiathan fhirein." — OssiAN. 
Like bur clinging to the eagle's wing. 

Welsh : cynghau, closely packed. Cribe y bleidd, wolfs comb. 
Caca nmci, puck's dung. Lappa, from Celtic, iiap (Loudon). 
Gaelic (for hand) Icwih. Welsh : llatnh. 

Carduus heterophyllus — Melancholy thistle. Gaelic : cltias 
an f/ieidk, the deer's ear. 

0. palustris — Marsh-thistle. Gaelic : duaran leana {chiaran, 
a thistle ; /can, a swamp) ; 

" Lubadh chiaran mil Lora nan sion." — OssiAN. 
Bending the thistle round Lora of the storms. 

Cluaran, a general name for all the thistles. Welsh : ys gallcn. 

C. lanceolatus — Spear-thistle. Gaelic : an duaran ddlgneadi, 
the prickly thistle {dei/gne, prickle-thorn). 

C. arvensis — Corn-thistle. Gaelic : aigheannach, the valiant 
one (from aighe, stout, valiant). 

C. marianus — Mary's thistle. Gaelic : fothannan beannuidite. 
Irish : fothannan beanduighte (Latin : benedktus), the blessed 
thistle (so called from the superstition that its leaves are stained 
with the Virgin Mary's milk) ; fothannan, foghnan, fonndan, a 
thistle. Danish : fon, thistle-down. 

^ Dogha also means burnt or singed. It was formerly burned to procure 
from its ashes a white alkaline salt, as good as the best potash. 



39 

" Leannaihh am foghnan.'''' — OssiAN. 
Pursue the thistle-down. 

*' 'Feadh nan raointean lorn ud, 
Far nach cinn xvxfotJiiiainy 
Among tliese bare hillsides, 
Where the thistles will not grow. 

M'Donald has another name, cluaran oir, the gold thistle. 

" Gaoir bheacliainn bhui 's ruadha 
Ri deoghladh chluaran oir^ 
The buzzing of yellow and red wasps 
Sucking the golden thistle. 

It is uncertain to which thistle, if any, the reference is made, 
unless it be to Carlina vulgaris, the carline thistle. Cluaran, 
occasionally means a daisy, Chrysantheimun segetuui, one of its 
names being liathan. 

'^ Liath chluaran nam magh." — OssiAN. 
The hoary thistle (or daisy) of the field. 

Here the reference is evidently to the corn-marigold ; in all 
probability M 'Donald refers to the same flower, and not to any 
thistle (see Chrysanthemuvi segetum). 

The thistle, the badge of the Clan Stewart. 

Cynara scolymus — Artichoke. Gaelic : farusgag, from far usg, 
the inner rind, the part used being the lower part of the recep- 
tacle of the flower, freed from the bristles and seed-down, and 
the lower part of the leaves of the involucre. Bliosan, not un- 
likely to be a contraction from bli-liosan, — Mi {bligh), milk (with 
its florets milk was formerly coagulated) ; and lios, a garden. 
These names apply also to Helianthus tiibtrostis, Jerusalem arti- 
choke, especially to the tubers ; and plur na greine, to the flower, 
from the popular error that the flower turns with the sun. 

Centaurea nigra — Knapweed. Gaelic: cnapan dubh, the black 
knob (from cnap, a knob ; Welsh, Armoric, and Irish : cfiap ; 
Saxon: cncep ; Danish cnap.) Mullach dubh, the black top. 
Irish ; niansgoth, the daughter's flower {iiian, a daughter ; sgoth, 
a flower). 

C. cyanus — Blue-bottle. Gaelic : gorman, the blue one. In 
some places, giile-guiri?iean, the blue lad. Curachd chubhaig, the 
cuckoo's cap or hood. Irish : atrac na cuig, the same meaning. 
Welsh : penlas wen, blue headed beauty. 

Artemisia vulgaris — Mugwort. Gaelic : Hath his, the grey 
weed. Mbr mania (Shaw), the large demure-looking plant {tnor. 



40 

large; manta, demure, bashful). Mj/ghard, Mugwort {iniigan, 
in Irish, a mug^ or inugarf, a hog). Irish : bofulan ban, or 
buafannan ban, the white toad, or serpent {bnaf, a toad ; buafa, 
a serpent ; Latin : bnfo, a toad) ; buafannan Hath, the grey toad 
or serpent. Welsh : Ihvydlys, grey weed. 

A absinthium — Common wormwood. Gaelic : buramaide. 
Irish : bor?^a?nofor, also burbun {burrais, a worm or caterpillar ; 
maide, wood)— /.^., wormwood. Searbh luibh, bitter plant. 

" Chuir e air mhisg m3 le searbh-luibhean.'''' — Stuart. 
He hath made me drunk with wormwood. 

" Mar a hhurmaidy 

Like the wormv.-ood. ' " " 

It was formerly used instead of hops to increase the intoxi- 
cating quality of malt liquor. Roide, gall, bitterness. Gi'aban 
(from Gothic, grnb, dig).^ Welsh : bermod chiverivlys, bitter 
weed. 

A. abrotanum — Southernwood. Gaelic : ineatJi chaltuinn. 
(Meath, Latin mitis, faint, weary, effeminate. Its strong smell 
is said to prevent faintness and weariness. Cnltuinn, from cal, 
Latin: cald ; Italian: cala ; French: cale, a bay, sea-shore, a 
harbour.) It grows in similar situations to A. maritima. Irish : 
siirabhan, suramont, and Welsh, siwdrmwt. The sour one {sur, 
sour), and " southernwood," also from the same root. Welsh : 
llysier cyrff, ale-wort {cyrff, Latin, cervisia, ale), it being fre- 
quently used instead of hops to give a bitter taste to malt 
liquors. 

Gnaphalium dioicum, G. sylvaticum — Cudweed. Gaelic : 
cat luibhy the cat's weed. Gndbh, or cndnih lus, the weed that 
wastes slowly (from yvtt</)aXtov), a word with which Dioscorides 
describes a plant with white soft leaves, which served the purpose 
of cotton. This well describes these plants. They have all 
beautifully soft woolly leaves ; and, on account of the permanence 
of the form and colour of their dry flowers, are called " Ever- 
lasting." 

Filago germanica — Common cotton rose. Gaelic and Irish : 
Hath his void, the gall (or wormwood) grey weed. 

1 The occasional occurrence of Gothic roots in plants' names in the Western 
HighLinds and Isles, is accounted for by the conquest of these parts by the 
Norwegians in the ninth century, and the fact of their rule existing there 
for at least two centuries under the sway of the Norwegian kings of Man and 
the Isles. 



41 

Petasites vulgaris — Butter-bur, pestilence-wort. Gaelic and 
Irish : gallan mor, the big branch, possibly referring to its large 
leaf. Greek : yaXavos, mast. Danish : galan^ a stripling. 
Fobal, more correctly pubal. Welsh : pabel^ a tent, a covering. 

" Shidhich iad -xm pulmiliy — Ossian. 
They .pitched their tents. 

The Greek name, Trcrao-o?, a broad covering, in allusion to its 
large leaves, which are larger than that of any other British 
plant, and form an excellent shelter for small animals. 

Tussilago farfara— Colt's foot. Gaelic: ditas hath, gx&y tdiX ; 
gorm Hath, greyish green ; duilliur spuing, the tinder- leaf. 

" Cho tioram ri spuing.'''' 
As dry as tinder. 

The leaf, dipped in saltpetre and then dried, made excellent 
tinder or touchwood. Gaelic and Irish : fathan or athan, mean- 
ing fire. It was used for lighting fire. The leaves were smoked 
before the introduction of tobacco, and still form the principal 
ingredient in the British herb tobacco. Gallan-greannchah- 
{gallan, see " Petasites ; " greann, hair standing on end, a beard), 
probably referring to its pappus. Irish : cassachdaighe (O'Reilly), 
a remedy for a cough {casachd, a cough ; aighe or ice, a remedy). 
" The leaves smoked, or a syrup or decoction of them and the 
flowers, stand recommended in coughs and other disorders of 
the breast and lungs " (Lightfoot). Welsh : cam y ebol {carn^ 
hoof, and ebol, foal or colt), colt's-foot. 

Senecio vulgaris — Groundsel. Gaelic : am biialan, from biial, 
a remedy. Lus Phara liath^ grey Peter's-weed, a name suggested 
by its aged appearance, even in the spring-time. Latin : senecio. 
Welsh : ben-felan, sly woman. Sail bhuinn {sail, a heel ; buinn, 
an ulcer). "The Highlanders use it externally in cataplasms as 
a cooler, and to bring on suppurations" (Lightfoot). Grimnasg 
(from grunnd, ground ; German : grimd). Welsh : grunsel, 

" Muran brioghar s'an ^^n/w^^^j'^ lionmhor. " — M'Intyre. 
The sappy carrot and the plentiful groundsel. 

Irish : crann lus, the plough-weed. Buafanan ?ia h' easgaran 

^ In Breadalbane, Glenlyon, and other places, the plant is called Lus 
Phara Hath — 

" Lus Phara Hath cuiridh e ghoimh as a chrainih." 
The groundsel will extinguish acute pain in the bone — 
it being frequently applied as a cure for rheumatic pains. 

F 



42 

{bimf, a toad, a serpent, but in this name evidently a corruption 
from biialan, a remedy, or buad/i, to overcome; easgara?i, the 
plague), a remedy for the plague. A name given also to the 
ragwort. 

S. Jacobsea — Ragwort. Gaelic and Irish : biiadhlan buidhe 
(from buadh, to overcome \ biiidhe, yellow) ; buadhghaHan, the 
stripling or branch that overcomes ; guiseag bhuidhe, or cuiseag^ 
the yellow - stalked plant ; cuiseag, a stalk. Welsh : llysiu'r 
ysgyfarnog, the hare's plant ; llysiu'r nedir, the serpent's weed 
— agreeing with one of its Irish names, buqfanafi, — buaf, a 
serpent or toad. 

Inula Helenium — Elecampane, said to be from the offici- 
nal name, imila campana, but probably a corruption of Helen- 
ula. Little Helen (Jones). Greek : cAei/os, the elecampane. 
Gaelic : dillean, from aille^ beautiful, handsome. Irish : Ellea 
(Gaelic, Eilid/i), Helen. The famous Helen of Troy, who is said 
to have availed herself of the cosmetic properties of the plant. 
Creamh, sometimes, but more generally applied to Aliiujn 
ursiniim (which see). 

Bellis perennis — Daisy. Gaelic and Irish : 7ieoina7i, or tioinean^ 
the noon-flower (from noin^ noon ; Welsh : naivn ; Latin : nojia, 
the ninth hour, from fiovem, ninth. The ninth hour, or three in 
the afternoon, was the noon of the ancients). 

" 'San ncoincan beag's mo lamh air cluin."— Mian a Bhard Aosda. 
And the little daisy surrounding my hillock. 

Buidheag (in Perthshire), the little yellow one. 

" Geibh sinn a /;//«?rt%^a^ san Ion. " — Old Song. 
We shall find the daisy in the meadow. 

Gugan (Armstrong), a daisy, a bud, a flower. 

Chrysanthemum segetum — Corn - marigold. Gaelic : bile 
buidhe^ the yellow blossom. Bileach choigreach^ the stranger or 
foreigner. Liaikan, Irish, Ha, the hoary grey one (from Greek 
Xeto9 ; Welsh : llwyd), on account of the light-grey appearance 
of the plant, expressed botanically by the term glaucous. An 
dithean oir, the golden flower, or chrysanthemum (xpvo-o?, gold; 
ai/^o9, a flower). 

" Mar mhin-chioch nan or dhithean beag." 
Like the tender breast of the little marigold. 

" Do dhithean lurach luaineach 
Mar thuarneagan de'n 'or." — M'DoNALD. 
Thy lovely marigolds like waving cups of gold. 



43 

Dithean is frequently used in a general sense for " flower," also 
for "darnel." 

""lir nan cfithean miadar daite." 
Land of flowers, meadow dyed. 
'* Dlthein nan gleann. " 
The flowers of the valley, 

Welsh : gold inair, marigold. Irish : buafanan biiid/ie, the yellow 
toad. 

C. leucanthemum — Ox-eye. Gaelic : an neonan mdr, the big 
daisy. Am breinean-brothach ^ (breine, stench ; brothach^ scabby). 
Easbiiigban, from Irish easbudk, silly, idle {easbndh brothach, the 
King's-evil). This plant was esteemed an excellent remedy for 
that complaint. Irish : easbiiig speaifi {Speam or Easbatn^ Spain). 

Anthemis nobilis — Common chamomile. Camomhil, from 
the Greek xa/^ac fxr)Xo<s, which Pliny informs us was applied to 
the plant on account of its smelling like apples. (Spanish : 
mancinilla, a little apple.) Lus-nancani-bhil (M'Kenzie), the 
plant with drooping flowers. The plant is well distinguished by 
its flowers, which droop, or are bent doivn, before expansion ; but 
though the name is thus applicable, it is only a corruption from 
the Greek. 

" Bi'dh mionntain, r«w^w/^^7 s'sobhraichean 

Geur bhileach, lonach, luasganach." — M'Intyre, 
There will be mints, chamomile, and primroses, 
Sharp-leaved, prattling, restless. 

Luibh-leighis, the healing plant. This plant is held in consider- 
able repute, both in the popular and scientific Materia Medica. 

A. pyrethruin — Pellitory of Spain. Gaelic : Itis na Spdine, 
the Spanish weed. 

A. arvensis — Field chamomile. Irish: conian mionla {coman^ a 
common ; mionla^ fine-foliaged. Gaelic : niiti lack). 

Matricaria inodora — Scentless May-weed. G3.qY\c : butd/ieag 
an arbhair, the corn daisy. Camomhi/ fead/iain, wild chamomile. 
Welsh: llygad yr ych^ ox-eye. 

Tanacetum vulgare — Tansy. Gaelic : Ins na Fraing, the 
French weed. (French, tanaisie.) Irish : tamhsae, corruptions 
from Athanasia. (Greek : a, privative, and Oavaros, death, i.e., 
a plant which does not perish — a name far from applicable to 
this species). 

Eupatorium cannabinum — Hemp agrimony. Gaelic and 

1 Breinean-brothach was probably also applied to A. cotula, for which 
there is no Gaelic name recorded. 



44 

Irish : aiaib uisge or caineab uisge, water-hemp (from Greek 
KawaySts ; Latin, cannabis, hemp ; the root can, white). 

Bidens cernua — Bur marigold. Irish : sceachog Mhuire, 
Mary's haw. 

Achillea ptarmica — Sneezewort. GaeHc : criiaidh lies, hard 
weed. (Latin : crudus, hard, inflexible). Meacan ragaitn, the 
stiff plant. Roibhe, moppy. 

A. millefolium — Yarrow. Gaelic : lus chosgadh tia fola, the 
plant that stops bleeding. Lus na fola, the blood-weed. Earr 
thalmhainn, that which clothes the earth {earr, clothe, array). 
Athair thalmhainn, the ground father. Cathair thalmhainn, the 
ground seat or chair. Probably alterations of earr (for thalm- 
haimi see Bnnimn flexuosum). 

*' Cathair thalmhainn'' s carbhin chroc-cheannach." — M'TntyrE. 
The yarrow and the horny-headed caraway. 

Solidago virgaurea — Golden rod. Gaelic : fuinseag coille ? 
A name given by Shaw to the herb called " Virgo />astoris." 
Also one of the names of the mountain-ash (Fyrus aucuparia, 
which see). 

Jasione montana — Sheep - bit. Gaelic : diibhan nan caora 
(O'Reilly). Dubhan, a kidney ; caora, sheep. 

CAMPANULACEyE. 

Campanula — Gaelic : barr-chdgeannach, bell-flowered. 
*' Barr-cluigeannach-sinnteach gorm-bhileach." 
Bell-flowered extended, blue-petalled. 

C. rotundifolia — Round-leaved bell-flower. Gaelic : brog na 
cubhaig, the cuckoo's shoe. Am pliiran clnigeaimach, the bell- 
like flower. Welsh : bysedd ellyilon, imp's fingers. Scotch : 
witch's thimbles. 

Lobelia dortmanna — Water-lobelia. Pliir an lochain, the lake- 
flower. 

Ericace^. 

Erica tetralix — Cross-leaved heath. Gaelic : fraochfrangach, 
French heath. Fraoch an ruinnse, rinsing heath ; a bunch of its 
stems tied together makes an excellent scouring brush, the other 
kinds being too coarse. (Fraoch, anciently fraech.) Welsh : 
grug. Greek : ipeiKw, ereiko, to break, from the supposed qual- 
ity of some of the species in breaking the stone (medicinally). 
The primary meaning seems to be to burst, to break, and appears 
to be cognate with the Latin, fractum. Fraoch also means 



45 

wrath, fury, hunger. '' Laoch bu gharg fraoch'' (Ull.), a hero 
of the fiercest wrath. ^^ Fraoch f^' fury, the war-cry of the 
M'Donalds. 

E. vagans — Cornish heath. Celtic : gooneleg (Dr Hooker), 
the bee's resort. 

E. cinerea^ — ^Smooth-leaved heath. GaeHc : fraoch bhadain, 
the tufted heath. 

" Ban- anfhraoch bhadanaichy — Old Song. 
The top of the tufted heath. 

" Gur badanach caoineil mileanta 
Cruinn mopach, min cruth, mongoineach 
Fraoch groganach, du dhonn gris dearg." — M'Intyre. 
Literally — 

That heath so tufty, mellow, sweet-lipped, ' 

Round, moppy, delicate, ruddy, 
Stumpy, brown, and purple. 

Fraoch an dearrasain^ the heath that makes a rustling or buzzing 
sound. 

The badge of Clan M 'Donald. 

Calluna vulgaris — Ling heather. Gaelic : fraoch. Heath or 
heather is still applied to many important domestic purposes, 
thatching houses, &c., and " tlie hardy Highlanders frequently 
make their beds with it — the roots down and the tops upwards 
— and formerly tanned leather, dyed yarn, and even made a 
kind of ale from its tender tops." Langa (M'Kenzie), ling. 

Arbutus uva - ursi — Red bearberry. Gaelic : grainnseag, 
small, grain-like. It has small red berries, which are a favourite 
food for moorfovvl. Braoileag nan con, the dogs' berry. 

A. alpina — The black bearberry. Gaelic : grainnseag dhubh, 
the black grain-like berry. 

A. unedo — Strawberry-tree. Irish: caithne (O'Donovan). 
Caithim, I eat or consume. 

Vaccinium myrtillus — Whortleberry. Gaelic: lus nan dearc, 
the berry plant {dearc,^ a berry). Gearr - dhearc, sour berry. 
Fraochan, that which grows among the heather. The berries 
are used medicinally by the Highlanders, and made into tarts 
and jellies, which last is mixed with whisky to give it a relish for 
strangers. Dearcan-fithich, the raven's berries. 

V. vitis - idsea — Cowberry ; red whortleberry ; cranberry. 

^ Originally from dearc, the eye ; Sansk,, dare, to see. The dark fruit 
resembling the pupil of the eye — hence the frequent comparisons of the eye 
{suil) to this fruit {dearcag) in Gaelic poetry. 



46 

Gaelic : lus nam broighleag. Irish : braighleog (from braigh, top, 
summit, a mountain), the mountain-plant ; ordinary signification, 
a berry. Bb-dhearc, cowberry. ("^^, a cow, from which the 
Greeks derived (^ooq, an ox" — Armstrong.) Latin: vacca and 
vaccinmm. 

" Do leacan chaoimhneil gu dearcach lirioghleagach." 
Thy gentle slopes abounding with whortleberries and cowberries. 

Badge of Clan M'Leod. 

V. oxycoccos — Cranberry. Gaelic and Irish : vmileag^ a word 
meaning a little frog ; the frogberry. It flourishes best in boggy 
situations. Fraochag^ because it grows among the heather. 
'Mo7tog, bog or peat berry. Mionag, the small berry. 

V. uliginosum — The bogberry. Gaelic : dearc roide, the gall 
or bitter berry. The fruit abounds with an acid juice ; when 
the ripe fruit is eaten, it occasions headache and giddiness. 

iLEACEiE. 

Ilex aquifolium — Holly. Gaelic and Irish : cuileann. Welsh : 
celyn. A.-S. : holegn. (C in Gaelic corresponds with h in the 
Germanic languages.) Ctd, guard, defence ; diil, that which 
prohibits. Compare also cnilg, gen. of colg, a prickle, or any 
sharp pointed thing. The lower leaves of this tree are yery 
prickly, and thus guard against cattle eating the young shoots. 
Welsh : celyn, tree, shelterer or protector ; eel, conceal, shelter, 
cover. 

*' Ma theid thu riiisgte troimh thorn droighinn 

'S coiseachd cas-lom 2ar preas cuileann 

Cadal gun lein' air an eanntaig, 

'S racadal itheadh gunn draing ort," &c. — Blar Shunadail. 

If you go naked through a thorn thicket, 

And walk barefooted on the holly. 

Sleep without a shirt on the nettle, 

And eat horse-radish without a grin, &c, 

OLEACEiE. 

Olea europaea — European olive. Gaelic and Irish : crann 
oladh or ola (Greek : cAata, a word, according to Du Theis, 
derived from the Celtic ; Welsh : olm), the oil-tree. 

" Sgaoilidh e gheugan, agus bithidh a mhaise mar an crann-oladh.'" 

"He will spread his branches, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree.'" — 
HosEA xiv. 6. 

Syringa vulgaris— Lilac tree. Gaelic: craobh Hath ghorm^ 
the lilac-tree. 

Ligustrum vulgare — Privet. Gaelic : ras chrann sir nine, the 



47 

evergreen shrubbery-tree. Priobaid (M4)onakl). (Latin : pri- 
vatus ; Irish : priobhaid, secrecy, privacy). Its chief use is to 
lorm hedges that are required for shelter, ornament, and privacy. 
Fraxinus excelsior— Ash. Gael and Irish : craobh uinn- 
seann. Irish: umseajin, niiJihscann, altered '\n\.o futnse, fuinseaft^ 
fuiiiseog. 

** Gabhaidh an t' uinnseann as an ^llt 

'S a challtuinn as a phreas. " — Proverb. 

The ash will kindle out of the burn, 

And the hazel out of the bush. 

Welsh : onen^ corresponding to another Irish name, iiio7i. 
Gaelic : nuin^ and also oinsean. The names refer principally 
to the wood, and the primary idea seems to be lasting, long- 
continuing, on (in Welsh), that which is in continuity. Uimh^ 
number ; seann^ ancient, old ; iiine^ time, season. Nuin^ also 
the letter N. Heb., mm. Fuinnseann (see Circoed)^ though from 
the same root, may have been suggested by its frequent use in 
the charms and enchantments so common in olden times, espe- 
cially against the bites of serpents, and the influence of the 
" Old Serpent." Pennant, in 1772, mentions: *' In many parts 
of the Highlands, at the birth of a child, the nurse puts the end 
of a green stick of ash into the fire, and while it is burning, 
receives into a spoon the sap or juice which oozes out at the 
other end, and administers this to the new-born babe." Serpents 
were supposed to have a special horror of its leaves. 

" Theid an nathair troimh an teine dhearg 
Mu'n teid i troimh dhuilleach an uinnsinn." 

The serpent will go through fire, rather than through the leaves of the ash. 

The same superstition was equally common in other countries, 
and the name " ash," which is said to be from the Celtic word 
cesc, a pike, is more likely to be from the word asc^ a snake, an 
adder. ^ German : die esche. 
The badge of Clan Menzies. 

Gentianace^. 
Gentiana campestris — Field gentian. Gaelic : his a chrubain, 
the crouching plant, or the plant good for the disease called 
criibain, " which attacks cows, and is supposed to be produced 

1 In Scandinavian mythology the first man was called Ask, and the first 
woman Ambla — ash and elm. The court of the gods is represented in the 
Edda as held under an ash — Yggdrasil. Connected with these circumstances 
probably arose the superstitions. — Chambers's Encvclop^dia. 



48 

by hard grass, scanty pasture, or other causes. The cows become 
lean and weak, with their hind- legs contracted towards the fore- 
feet, as if pulled by a rope" (Armstrong). This plant, in common 
with others of this genus, acts as an excellent tonic ; its qualities 
were well known in olden times. Welsh : crwynliys, bent-weed ; 
cryjt, bend, curve. Gaelic : crea^nh, is given also as a name for 

gentian. 

" 'N creamh na chaiaichean, 
Am bac nan staidhracliean. " — M'Intyre. 

Which Dr Armstrong translates, "gentian in beds or plots." The 
name creamh also applies to the leek. Creamh, hart's-tongue fern, 
garlic, and elecampane. Welsh : craf, garlic. 

Erythrsea, from epvOpof;, eryfhros, red flowers. 

E. centaurium — Centuary ; red gentian. Irish : ceadharlach 
(O'Reilly), the centaur. It is said that with this plant Chiron 
cured the wound caused by the arrows of Hercules in the 
Centaur's foot. Gaelic, according to Armstrong : ceud bhileach, 
meaning hundred-leaved, a corruption of the Irish name {Ceud, 
Irish : ceadh ; Latin : centum, a hundred), — the origin of the name 
being probably misunderstood. 

E. littoralis — Dwarf tufted centuary. Gaelic and Irish : dreim- 
ire muire, the sea- side scrambler. Dreiin, climb, clamber, scramble : 
muire ; Latin: mare; German: meer, the sea. 

Chlora perfoliata — Yellow-wort. Gaelic and Irish : dreimire 
buidhe, the yellow scrambler. Not in the Highlands, but found 
in Ireland, whence the name. 

Menyanthes trifoliata — Bog-bean, buck-bean, marsh trefoil. 
Gaelic and Irish : ponair chapull, the mare's bean. (See Faba.) 
Pacharan chapull, the mare's packs or wallets, from pac, a pack, 
a wallet, a bundle. Tribhileach, the three-leaved plant. Mill- 
sean motiaidh, the sweet plant of the hill. • 

"■Millseiiicach, biolaireach Sobhiach."— M'Lachuinn. 
Abounding in bog-beans, cresses, primroses. 

" The Highlanders esteem an infusion or tea of the leaves as 
good to strengthen a weak stomach" (Stuart). 

CONVOLVULACEyE. 

Convolvulus arvensis — Field bindweed. Gaelic : iadh lus, 
the plant that surrounds. (See Hedera helix.) 

C. sepium— Great bindweed. Gaelic and Irish: diiil mhial 
(Shaw), from dul, catch with a loop ; and 7ntal, a louse, — realiy 
signifying the plant that creeps and holds by twining. 



49 

Cuscuta epilinum— Flax dodder. Irish: clamhainin Vin, the 
flax kites. It is parasitical on flax, to the crops of which it is 
sometimes very destructive. Cunach or (Gaelic) conach, that 
which covers, as a shirt, a disease. A general name applicable 
to all the species. Welsh : lllndag, the flax choker. 

SOLANACEiE. 

Solanum dulcamara — Bitter-sweet ; woody nightshade. Gaelic 
and Irish : searhhag mhilis^ bitter-sweet (Highland Society's Dic- 
tionary). Fuath gorm, the blue demon {fuath, hate, aversion, a 
demon). Miotagbhuidhe. Irish: ?;/m/'/'^»-/^///^//^, the yellow nipper, 
pincher, or biter. Slat ghorm {slat, a wand, a switch ; gorin, blue). 

S. tuberosum — Potato. Gaelic : bun-tata, adaptation of the 
Spanish batata. Sir John M'Gregor has ingeniously rendered 
the word Imn-taghta, a choice root ! 

Atropa belladona — Deadly nightshade ; dwale banewort. 
Gaelic and Irish : lits na h^oidhc/ie, the nightweed, on account of 
its large black berries and its somniferous qualities. Buchanan 
relates the destruction of the army of Sweno, the Dane, when he 
invaded Scotland, by the berries of this plant, which were mixed 
with the drink with which, by their truce, they were to supply 
the Danes, which so intoxicated them that the Scots killed the 
greater part of the Danish army while they were asleep. Welsh : 
y gysiadur, the putter to sleep. 

Hyoscyamus niger — Henbane. Gaelic and Irish : gafann 
(gabhann), the dangerous one. Detheogha, deodha, deo, breath, 
that which is destructive to life. Caoc/i-nan-cearc, that which 
blinds the hens. Its seeds are exceedingly obnoxious to poultry, 
hence the English name henbane. The whole plant is a dan- 
gerous narcotic. Welsh : shwyg yr idr, preventing or curing 
faintness. 

SCROPHULARIACE.E. 

Verbascum thapsus — Mullein ; hag's taper ; cow's lungwort. 
Gaelic and Irish : cuineal Mhiiire, or cicingeal Mhuirei^ixova cuing, 
asthma, or shortness of breath. In pulmonary diseases of cattle 
it is found to be of great use, hence the name, cow's lungwort, or 
cuinge, narrowness, straightness, from its high, tapering stem : 
M/mire, Mary's). 

Veronica beccabunga — Erooklime. Gaelic : lochal, from loch, 
a lake, a pool, the pool- weed or lake-weed, being a water-plant. 
Lothal {lo, water). Irish : hiolar inhuin, the contemptible cress ; 
;;///;;, urine. Welsh : llychlys y divfr, squatter in the water. 



5° 

V. officinale — Common speedwell. Gaelic and Irish : lus ere, 
the dust-weed. Seamar chre (see Oxalis). 

V. anagallis — Water-speedwell. Irish : fualachtar, fjial, water, 
the one that grows in the water. 

Euphrasia officinalis — Eyebright. Gaelic : his nan leac, the 
hillside plant ; leac, a declivity. Soillseachd nan siiil, soillse na 
sill (M'Donald), that which brightens the eye. Rein an ruisg 
(Stuart), water for the eye. Glaii ruts, the eye-cleaner. Lightfoot 
mentions that the Highlanders of Scotland make an infusion of 
it in milk, and anoint the patient's eyes with a feather dipped in 
it, as a cure for sore eyes. Irish : radharcain {radhairc), sense 
of sight. Lin radharc {lin, the eye, wet), the eye wetter or washer. 
Raeimin-radhairc {reim, power, authority), that which has power 
over the sight. Roisniji, rosg, the eye, eyesight. Caoimin {caoimJi), 
clean. Welsh : gloyiulys, the bright plant. ^Llysieuyn eufras, the 
herb Euphrasia (from €v<f>paiV(o, cuphraino, to delight, from the 
supposition of the plant curing blindness). Arnoldus de Villa 
saith, " It has restored sight to them that have been blind a long 
time before ; and if it were but as much used as it is neglected, 
it would half spoil the spectacle trade " (Culpepper). 

Pedicularis sylvatica — Dwarf red rattle. Irish : lusan grolla. 

P. palustris — Louse-wort ; red rattle. Gaelic : lus riab/iach, 
the brindled plant, possibly a contraction oi riabhdheargach (Irish), 
red-streaked, a name which well describes the appearance of the 
plant. Modhalan dearg, the red modest one. Lus na mial, 
louse-wort, from the supposition that sheep that feed upon it 
become covered with vermin. Baifine ghabliar, goat's milk, 
from the idea that when goats feed on it they yield more milk. 
Its beautiful pink flowers were used as a cosmetic, 

" Sail-chuach 's bainne ghabhar, , 
Suadh ri t' aghaidh, 
'S cha n' neil mac righ air an domhain, 
Nach bj air do dheidh." 

Rub thy face with violet and goat's milk, 
And there is no prince in the world 
Who M^ill not follow thee. 

Rhinanthus crista-galli— The yellow rattle. Gaelic : modh- 
alan bhuidhe, the yellow modest one. Bodach na claiginn. 
Irish : boda7i na cloigin, the old man with the skulls. Claigeann 
or (Irish) doigoin, a skull, from the skull-like appearance of its 
inflated calyces. 

Scrophularia nodosa^ Figwort. Gaelic : lus nan cnapan, the 



51 

knobbed plant, from its knobbed roots. Old English : kernel- 
wort. Don?i-lits, brown-wort, from the brown tinge of the leaves. 
Farach diibh {faracha, Irish), a beetle or mallet ; dub/i, dark. 
Wasps and beetles resort greatly to its small mallet-like flowers. 
Irish \ foiriun {fot^fothacJi)^ glandered — from the resemblance of 
its roots to tumours. In conse(iuence of this resemblance it was 
esteemed a remedy for all scrofulous diseases ; hence the generic 
name Scrophidaria. 

Digitalis purpurea — Foxglove. Gaelic : lus-nani-baii-sith^ tlie 
fairy women's plant. Meuran sith (Stuart), the fairy thimble. 
Irish : an siotJum {siot/i, Gaelic : sttk) means peace. Sttkic/i, 
a fairy, the most active sprite in Highland and Irish mythology. 
Meuran'^ 7ian daoine marbh, dead men's thimbles. Meuran nan 
caillich mha7'bha, dead women's thimbles. In Skye it is called 
ciochan ftan cailleachan marblia (Nicolson), the dead old women's 
paps. Irish : sian sleibhe. {Sian^ a charm or spell, a wise 
one, a fox ; sleibhe, a hill). Welsh : menyg ellyllo7i, fairy's glove. 
O'Reilly gives another Irish name, bolga?i beic (diminutive of bolg^ 
a sack, a bag. Greek, BoXyo?, beic, bobbing, curtseying). And 
frequently in the Highlands the plant is known by the familiar 
name, an lies nior, the big plant. Lus a bhalgair (Aberfeldy), 
the fox-weed. 

Orobanchace.?!:. 

(From Greek, opo^o^, orobos, a vetch, and cv^x^iv, to strangle, in 
allusion to the effect of these parasites in smothering and de- 
stroying the plants on which they grow.) The name miichog (from 
miich smother, extinguish, suffocate) is applied to all the species. 
0. major and minor — Broom-rape. Irish and Gaelic : siorra- 
lac/i, (Shaw) — sior, vetches, being frequently parasitical on legu- 
minous plants; or* siorrackd, rape. 

VERBENACEiE. 

Verbena officinalis — Vervain. Gaelic and Irish : trombhod, — 
trom, a corruption oi drum, from Sanscrit dru, wood ; hence Latin, 
drus^ an oak, and bod or boid, a vow. Welsh : dderiven fendigaid, 
literally, blessed oak, — the " herba sacra " of the ancients. Ver- 
vain was employed in the religious ceremonies of the Druids. 
Vows were made and treaties were ratified by its means. "After- 
wards all sacred evergreens, and aromatic herbs, such as holly, 

1 Meuran and digitalis {liigitabidum) , a thimble, in allusion to the form of 
the flower. 



52 

rosemary, &c., used to adorn the altars, were included under the 
term verbena " (Brockie). This will account for the name trom- 
bhod being given by O'Reilly as "vervain mallow;" M'Kenzie, 
" ladies' mantle ; " and Armstrong, " vervain." 

Labiate:. 
(From Latin, labiiun., a lip, plants with lipped corollae.) Gaelic : 
lusan Itpeach, or bileach. 

Mentha — (From Greek Miv^t;, nmithe. A nymph of that name 
who was changed into mint by Prosperine, in a fit of jealousy, 
from whom the Gaelic name mionnt has been derived.) Welsh : 
myntys. 

Mentha sylvestris — Horse-mint. Gaelic : viionnt each, horse- 
mint ; mionnt fiadhain, wild mint ; and if growing in woods, 
miomit choille, wood-mint. 

M. arvensis— Corn-mint. Gaelic: mionnt an arb/iair, corn- 
mint. 

M. aquatica — Water - mint. Gaelic : cairteaL Irish : cartal, 
cartloin, probably meaning the water - purifier, from the verb 
cartam, to cleanse, and loin, a rivulet, or Ion, a marsh or swampy 
ground. Misimean dearg (Armstrong), the rough red mint. The 
whole plant has a reddish appearance when young. 

M. viridis — Garden-mint, spear-mint. Gaelic: mionnt gha- 
raidh, the same meaning; and meanntas, another form of the 
same name, but not commonly used. 

"Oir a ta sibh a toirt an deachaimh as a mhionnt." — Stuart. 
For ye take tithe of mint. 

M. pulegium — Pennyroyal. G^qWc : peighinn rioghail, the 
same meaning. 

" Am bearnan bride 's ^ pheighinn-rioghail.^'' — M'Intyre. 
The dandelion and \\-\q pennyroyal. 

Welsh : coluddlys, herb good for the bowels. Dail y gwaed, blood 
leaf. 

Calamintha — Basil-thyme, calamint. Gaelic : calameilt (from 
Greek, KaAos, beautiful ; and [LivBt], viinthe, mint), beautiful mint. 
Welsh : Llysie y gdth, cat-wort. 

Rosmarinus oflB.cinalis — Common rosemary. Gaelic : ros 
Mhiiire. Irish : ros-mar — mar-ros, sea-dew, corruptions from the 
Latin {ros, dew, and marinus), the sea-dew. Ros Mhairi, Mary's 
rose, or rosemary. Welsh : ros Mair. Among Celtic tribes rose- 
mary was the symbol of fidelity with lovers. It was frequently 



53 

worn at weddings. In Wales it is still distributed among friends 
at funerals, who throw the sprigs into the grave over the coffin. 

Lavendula spica — Common lavender. Gaelic: his-na-iuise, 
the incense plant, on account of its fragrant odour. An his liath^ 
the grey weed. Lot/iail, " tiisge ati lothail" lavender-water. 

Satureia hortensis— Garden savory. Gaelic: garbhag ghar- 
aid/i, the coarse or rough garden plant, from garbh, rough, &c. 

Salvia verbenacea — Clary. The Gaelic and Irish name, torman^ 
applies to the genus as well as to this plant ; it simply means 
" the shrubby one " {tor^ a bush or shrub). The genus consists 
of herbs or undershrubs, which have generally a rugose appear- 
ance. A mucilage was produced from the seeds of this plant, 
Avhich, applied to the eye, had the reputation of clearing it of 
dust; hence the English name, " clear-eye," clary (Gaelic : clearc^ 
bright). 

S. officinalis — Garden-sage (of which there are many varieties). 
Gaelic : aihair /iath, the grey father. Saisde (from sage). Slan lus^ 
the healing plant, corresponding with sahna (Latin : salvere, to 
save). It was formerly of great repute in medicine. Armstrong 
remarks : " Bha barail ro mhor aig na scan Eadalltich do 'n lus 
so, mar a chithear o'n rann a leanas, — 

*' Cur moriatur homo cui salvia crescil in horto ? " 
C arson a gheibheadh duine bas, 
Aig am bheil saisde fas na gharaidh ? 
Why should the man die who has sage growing in liis garden ? 

Teucrium scorodonia — Wood - sage. Gaelic : saisde coilk, 
wood-sage. Saisde fiadhaiii, wild sage. O'Reilly gives the name 
ebeirslimigh, perhaps from obar, shall be refused, and shiagh^ 
people, multitude, because it did not possess the virtues attri- 
buted to the other species, and even cattle refuse to eat it. 

Thymus serpyllum — Thyme, wild thyme. Gaelic and Irish : 
lus mhic righ Bhreatainn, the plant belonging to the king of 
Britain's son. Lus an righ, the king's plant. This plant had the 
reputation of giving courage and strength through its smell; 
hence the English thyme (from Greek : ^v/aos, thymos, courage, 
strength, — virtues which were essential to kings and princes in 
olden times). Highlanders take an infusion of it to prevent dis- 
agreeable dreams. Welsh : teim. 

Origanum i y^ig^re^^ i— Marjoram. Gaelic and Irish : ora- 

gan, the delight of the mountain. Greek : opo9, oros. Gaelic : ord, 
a mountain ; and Greek, yai/o?, ganos, ]oy. Gaelic : gai?i, clapping 



54 

of hands. Liis niharsalaidh^ the merchant's weed, may only be 
a corrupted form of marjoram, from an Arabic word {marya- 
inych). Seathb/iog, the skin or hide softener {seathadh, a skin, a 
hide, and bog, soft). "The dried leaves are used in fomentations, 
the essential oil is so acrid that it may be considered as a caustic, 
and was formerly used as such by farriers " (Don). Welsh : y 
benrudd, ruddy-headed. 

0. dictamnus — Dittany. The Gaelic and Irish name, his a 
phiobaire — given in the dictionaries for " dittany " — is simply a 
corruption of lus apheubair, the pepperwort, and was in all prob- 
ability applied to varieties of Lepidiuin as well as to Origanum dic- 
tamni creti, whose fabulous qualities are described in Virgil's 12th 
' ^neid,' and in Cicero's ' De Natura Deorum.' 

Hyssopus officinalis — Common hyssop. Gaelic: z'i"^/. French: 
hysope. German : isop. Italian : isopo (from the Hebrew name, 
yw^i ezob, or Arabian, azzof). 

" Glan mi le K isop, agus bithidh me glan. " 
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean. 

Ajuga reptans — Bugle. Gaelic : vieacan dubh fiadhaiti (Arm- 
strong), the dusky wild plant. Welsh : glesyn y coed, wood-blue. 

Nepeta glechoma — Ground-ivy. Gaelic: iadh shlat thalm- 
hainn, the ground-ivy. (See Hedera helix, and Bunium flexiio- 
swn). Nathair lus, the serpent-weed, — it being supposed to be 
efficacious against the bites of serpents; hence the generic name, 
Nepeta, from fiepa, a scorpion. Irish : aigneati thabnhuin {aigne, 
affection, thalmhuin, the ground); eid/inca?i thahnhuin (see Hedera 
helix). 

Ballota niger — Stinking horehound. Irish and Gaelic : gra- 
faii oxgrdbhan dubh, the dark opposer {grab, to hinder or obstruct). 
It was a favourite medicine for obstructions of the viscera : or it 
may refer to grab, a notch, from its indented leaves. 

Lycopus europaeus — Water-horehound. Irish : feoran curraidh, 
the green marsh-plant {currach, a marsh). 

Marrubium vulgare— White horehound. Gaelic and Irish : 
grafan or grabhan ban, the white indented, &c. (See Ballota 
niger). 

Lamium album — White dead - nettle ; archangel. Gaelic : 
teanga inJitn, the smooth tongue. lonntag bhdn, white nettle. 
lonntag mhdrbh, dead nettle. (For lonntdg see Uriica.) 

L. purpureum — The red dead - nettle. Gaelic : ionntag 
dhearg, red nettle. 



55 

Galeopsis tetrahit — Common hemp-nettle. Gaelic: an gat h 
duhh, the dark bristly plant {gath^ a sting, a dart). It becomes 
black when dry, and has black seeds. 

G. versicolor — Large-flowered hemp-nettle. Gaelic :. an gath 
buidhe^ — an gath inhr, the yellow bristly plant — the large bristly 
plant. Very abundant in the Highlands, and troublesome to 
the reapers at harvest-time, from its bristly character. It is 
called yellow on account of its large yellow flower, with a purple 
spot on the lower lip. 

Stachys betonica — Wood-betony. Gaelic : lus bheathag, the 
life-plant, nourishing plant (from Irish: beatha; Greek: /?t(OTa; 
Latin : vita^ — life, food). " Betonic, a Celtic word ; ben^ head, 
and ton^ good, or tonic " (Sir W. J. Hooker). Biatas (from biadh, 
feed, nourish, maintain). " A precious herb, comfortable both 
in meat and medicine" (Culpepper). Glasair coille,\hQ wood 
green one. The green leaves were used as a salad : any kind of 
salad was called glasag. 

S. sylvatica— Wound- wort. Gaelic : his nan scorr, the wound- 
wort {scorr, a cut made by a knife or any sharp instrument). 
Irish : caubsadaji. 

Prunella vulgaris — Self-heal. Gaelic and Irish : dubhan ceann 
chhsach, also diibhamiith. These names had probably reference 
to its effects as a healing plant. " It removes all obstructions of 
the liver, spleen, and kidneys " {dtibhan, a kidney, darkness ; 
cea?in, head, and cosach, spongy or porous). Shin lus, healing 
plant. Lus a chridh^ the heart-weed. Irish : ceanabhan-beg^ the 
little fond dame; cean, fond, elegant, and ban, woman, wife, 
dame. 

BoraginacetE. 

Borago officinalis — Borage. Gaelic and Irish: borrach, bor- 
7'aisi, borraigh, all these forms are evidently derived from 
borago, altered from the Latin, cor, the heart, and ago, to act 
or effect. The plant was supposed to give courage, and to 
strengthen the action of the heart ; " it was one of the four 
great cordials." Borr in Gaelic means to bully or swagger ; and 
barrack, a haughty man, a man of courage. Welsh : Uawenllys 
{llawen, merry, joyful), the joyful or glad plant. 

Lycopsis arvensis — Bugloss. Gaelic : lus-teang' an daimh, 
ox-tongue. Boglus, corruption oibolg, an ox; lus, a plant. Welsh : 
tafod yr ych, the same meaning. Bugloss, from Greek ^ov%, bous, 
an ox, and yXwaa-a, glossa, a tongue, in reference to the roughness 
and shape of the leaves. 



56 

Myosotis palustris— Marsh scorpion -grass or forget-me-not. 
Gaelic and Irish : cotharach, the protector {cothadh, protection) ; 
perhaps the form of the racemes of flowers, which, when young, 
bend over the plant as if protecting it. Lus nam mial, the louse- 
plant, — probably a corruption from miagh, esteem. Lus midhe 
(O'Reilly), a sentimental plant that has always been held in 
high esteem. 

Symphytum oflacinale— Comfrey. Gaelic : meacan dtibh, the 
large or dark plant. Irish : lus na ccnaiTih briste, the plant for 
broken bones. The root of comfrey abounds in mucilage, and 
was considered an excellent remedy for uniting broken bones. 
"Yea, it is said to be so powerful to consolidate and knit to- 
gether, that if they be boiled with dissevered pieces of flesh in a 
pot, it will join them together again " (Culpepper). 

Echium vulgare — Viper's bugloss. Boglus (see Lycopsis) and 
us na nathrach, the viper's plant. 

Cynoglossum officinale — Common hound's - tongue. Gaelic 
and Irish: teanga con (O'Reilly). Teanga chii^ dog's - tongue. 
Welsh : tafod y a, same meaning. Greek : cynoglossum {KV(i)v, 
kyon, a dog, and yXoiaaa, glossa, a tongue), name suggested from 
the form of the leaves. 

PlNGyiCULACE^. 

Pinguicula vulgaris — Bog- violet. Gaelic : brbg na cubhaig, 
the cuckoo's shoe, from its violet-like flower. Badan measga?i, 
the butter mixer ; badan, a little tuft, and measgan, a little 
butter-dish ; or measg, to mix, to stir about. On cows' milk it 
acts like rennet. Lus a bhaiime, the milk-wort. It is believed 
it gives consistence to milk by straining it through the leaves. 
Uachdar, surface, top, cream, — a name given because it was 
supposed to thicken the cream. 

PRIMULACEyE. 

Primula vulgaris — Primrose. Gaelic : sobhrach, sobhrag. 

"A shobhrach, geal-bhui nam bruachag, 
Gur fan-gheal, snughar, do ghniiis ! 
Chinneas badanach, cluasach, 
Maoth-mhin, baganta luaineach. 
Bi'dh tu t-eideadh sa'n earrach 
'S 'each ri falach an sul." — M'Donald. 
Pale yellow primrose of the bank, 
So pure and beautiful thine appearance ! 
Growing in clumps, round-leaved, 



57 

Tender, soft, clustered, waving ; 
Thou wilt be dressed in the spring 
When the rest are hiding in the l)ud. 

The Irish name soghradhach (Shaw), means amiable, lovely, 
acceptable. The Gaelic names have the same meaning. Sobh 
or subh, pleasure, delight, joy. Soradh^ soi7'ighj are contractions ; 
also samharca7i. Irish : samharcain {samhas, delight, pleasure). 

"Am bi na samhraichcan s' neoinean fann." — Old Song. 
" Gu trie anns' na bhuinn sinn a t' sbrach.'''' — MUNRO. 
Often we gathered there the primrose. 

Welsh : briollu, — bt'iolj dignified ; alhvedd, key. '' The queenly 
flower that opens the lock to let in summer " (Brockie). 

P. veris — Cowslip. Gaelic : muisean^ the low rascal, the 
devil, "y^ choire mhuiseanaich,^^ a dell full of cowslips. Cattle 
refuse to eat it, therefore farmers dislike it. Brog na cubhaig 
(M'Kenzie), the cuckoo's shoe. Irish : seichearlan^ seicheirghin, 
seicheirg/ilan , from seic/ie, hide or skin. It was formerly boiled, 
and '•' an ointment or distilled water was made from it, which 
addeth much to beauty, and taketh away spots and wrinkles of 
the skin, sun-burnings and freckles, and adds beauty exceed- 
ingly." The name means the ''skin-purifier." Baine bb bhuie, 
the yellow cow's milk. Baine bo bleacht, the milk-cow's milk. 

P. auricula — Auricula. Gaelic : his na bami-rigk, the queen's 
flower. 

P. Polyanthus — Winter primrose. Gaelic : Sobhrach gheamh- 
raid/i. 

Cyclamen hedersefolia — Sow-bread. Gaelic : culurin (perhaps 
from cut or cullach, a boar, and aran^ bread), the boar's bread. 

Lysimachia (from Greek Avo-co and />(,axoyu,at, I fight). 

L. vulgaris — Loose-strife. Gaelic and Irish : liis na sttkchaifie, 
the herb of peace {s)lh, peace, rest, ease ; cdin, state of). Con- 
aire, the keeper of friendship. The termination ^'- ah-e'^ denotes 
an agent; and conall, friendship, love. An seileachan bnidhe, the 
yellow willow herb. 

L. nemorum — Wood loose-strife; yellow pimpernel. Gaelic 
and Irish : seamhair Mhuire {seamhair^ seamh, gentle, sweet, and 
fetir, grass ; seamhrog (shamrock), generally applied to the tre- 
foils and wood-sorrel. (See Oxalis.) Mhuire of Mary; Maire, 
Mary. This form is especially applied to the Blessed Virgin 
Mary. In the Mid- Highlands more frequently called Samman 
(Stewart). Lus Cholum-cille, the wort of St Columba, the apostle 

H 



58 

of Scotland. Cohimb, a dove ; cille, of the church. This 
name is given in the Highlands to Hypericum, which see. Rosor 
(O'Reilly). Ros is sometimes used for his. Ros-or, yellow or 
golden rose. " From the Sanskrit, ruksha or rusha, meaning tree, 
becomes in Gaelic ros, a tree or treelet, just as daksha, the 
right hand, becomes dexter in Latin and deas in Gaelic. Ros, 
therefore, means a tree or small tree, or a place where such trees 
grow — hence the names of places that are marshy or enclosed 
by rivers, as Roslin, Ross-shire, Roscommon," &c. — Canon 

BOURKE. 

Anagallis arvensis — Pimpernel, poor man's weather-glass. 
Gaelic : falcair. Irish : falcaire fiodhain, the wild cleanser {fal- 
cadh, to cleanse). The name expressing the medicinal qualities 
of the plant, which, by its purgative and cleansing power, removes 
obstructions of the liver, kidneys, &c. Falcah'e fuair, — fal- 
caire also means a reaper, and ftiair, cold ; fiiaradh, to cool, a 
weather-gauge. The reaper's weather-gauge, because it points 
out the decrease of temperature by its hygrometrical properties 
— when there is moisture the flower does not open. Loisgean 
(M'Donald), from loisg, to put in flame, on account of its fiery 
appearance. Ruinn riiise (O'Reilly). Ruiiin means sex, and by 
pre-eminence the "male ; " ruise is the genitive case of ros. It is 
still called the male pimpernel in some places. The distilled 
water or juice of this plant was much esteemed formerly for 
cleansing the skin. 

PlUMBAGI NACE^. 

Armeria maritima — Thrift. Gaelic : tonn a chladaich (Arm- 
strong), the " beach- wave," frequent on the sea- shore, banks of 
rivers, and even on the Grampian tops. Bctr-dearg, red-top, from 
its pink flower. Neoineafi chladaich, the beach daisy, from 
cladach, shore, beach, sandy plain. 

PLANTAGINACEiE. 

Plantago major — Greater plaintain. Gaelic and Irish : cuach 
Phadraig, Patrick's bowl or cup, — in some places cruach Phad- 
raig, Patrick's heap or hill. Welsh : llydai?i y fford, spread on 
the way. 

P. lanceolata — Rib -wort. Gaelic and Irish: slan lus, the 
healing plant. 

" Le meilbheig, le neoinean 's le slan-lus.'''' — M'Leod. 
With poppy, daisy, and rib-tvorf. 



59 

Lus ail f slanuchaidh {/us, a wort, a plant-lierb, cluefly used for 
plant ; it signifies also power, force, efficacy ; slanuchaidh, a par- 
ticipial noun from slan ; Latin, sanus), the herb of the healing, 
or healing power; a famous healing plant in olden times. 
Deideag. Irish : deideog (ag and og, young, diminutive termina- 
tions ; deid, literally deud or deid, a tooth), applied to the row of 
teeth, and also to the nipple (Gaelic, diddi ; English, titty), be- 
cause like a tooth, hence to a plaything, — play, geivgaw, bo-peep, 
a common word with nurses. 

" B'iad sid an geiltre gle ghrinn. 
Cinn deideagan measg feoir," ik.z. — M 'Donald. 
Scenes of startling beauty, 
J^lantain-heads among the grass, &c. 

Armstrong translates it "gewgaws" amongst the grass; but the 
editor of * Sar-obair nam Bard Gaelach ' — see his vocabulary — 
gives deideagan, rib -grass, which renders the line intelligible. 
Bodaich dhubha, the black men, — children's name in Perthshire. 
Welsh : llwynhidydl-penaiir. 

PARONYCHIACEiE. 

Herniaria glabra — Rupture- wort ; burst -wort. Gaelic and 
Irish : lus an f sicnich (M'Kenzie), from sic, the inner skin that 
is next the viscera in animals. " Bhrist an t sic^^ the inner skin 
broke. " Mam-sic," rupture, hernia. Not growing naturally in 
Scotland, but was formerly cultivated by herbalists as a cure for 
hernia. 

CHENOPODIACEiE. 

Amaranthus caudatus — Love-lies-bleeding. Gaelic : lus a 
ghraidh, the love plant. Gradh, love. 

Spinacia oleracea — Spinage. Gaelic : bloinigean garaidh. 
Blofiag, fat (Welsh, bloneg ; Irish, blanag):, garadh, a garden. 
Slap chail (M'Alpin) ; slap, to flap ; cal, cabbage. Welsh : yspi- 
goglys. 

Beta maritima — Beet, mangel-wurzel. Gaelic: betis, biotas. 
Irish : biatas. Welsh : beatws (evidently on account of its feed- 
ing or life-giving qualities). Greek : ySto?. Latin : vita, life, 
food ; and the Gaelic : biadh, feed, nourish, fatten. Cornish : 
boot. 

Suaeda marinma — Sea-side goose grass. ) Gaelic and Irish : 

Salicornia herbacea — Glass-wort. j praiseach na niara, 

the sea pot-herb. Name applied to both plants. Y ox praiseach, 
see Crambe maritima. 



6o 

Atriplex hastata and patula — Common orache. Gaelic and 
Irish : praiseach inhin. Mm, meal, ground fine, small. Still 
used by poor people as a pot-herb. Ceathramha-luain-griollog 
(O'Reilly), loin-quarters. CeatJwamadh caorach (Bourke), sheep's 
quarters. The name grioHog is applied also to the samphire. 

A. portulacoides — Purslane like orache. Gaelic and Irish : 
purpaidh, purple. A name also given to the poppy. Name 
given on account of the purple appearance of the plant, it being 
streaked with red in the autumn. 

Chenopodium vulvaria (or olidum) — Stinking goosefoot. 
Irish : elefleog. El or ela, a swan ; and fle or fleadh, a feast. It 
was said to be the favourite food of swans. Scotch : oloiir 
(Latin, olor, a swan). 

C. album — White goosefoot. Gaelic and Irish : praiseach 
fiadhain, wild pot-herb. The people of the Western Highlands, 
and poor people in Ireland, still eat it as greens. Praiseach 
glas, green pot-herb, a name given to the fig- leaved goosefoot 
(Jicifolium). 

C. Bonus-Henricus — Good King Henry, wild spinage, English 
Mercury. Gaelic and Irish : praiseach brdthair, the friar's pot- 
herb. {Brdthair means brother, also friar — frere). Its leaves 
are still used as spinage or spinach, in defect of better. 

Laurace/f:. 

Laurus (from Sanskrit labhasa, abundance of foliage ; root 
labh, to take, to desire, to possess — akin to Greek, XafxPav(ji, 
lamband). — Gaelic : lamh, a hand (Canon Bourke). 

L. nobilis — The laurel, the bay-tree (which must not be con- 
founded with our common garden laurel, Primus lauro-cerasus 
and P. hisitajiicus). Gaelic and Irish : labhras. Crann laoibh- 
reil, the tree possessing richness of foliage. With its leaves 
poets and victorious generals were decorated. The symbol of 
triumph and victory. It became also the symbol of massacre 
and slaughter, hence another Gaelic name, casgair, to slaugh- 
ter, to hit right and left. Ur uaine, the green bay-tree. 

* ' Agus e' ga sgaoileadh fein a mach mar fir chraoibh tiaine. " 
And spreading himself like a green hay-tree. — Psalm xxxvii. 35, 

Ur = bay or palm tree, from the Sanskrit, iirh, to grow up. 
Palm Sunday is styled ^^ Doinhnach an ?7/;'," the Lord's day of 
the palm. 

L. cinnamomum — Cinnamon. Gaelic and Irish : caineal. 



" 'Se 's millse na 'a caincal.'' — Beinn-Dokain. 
It is sweeter than cinnamon. 

Canal (Welsh : canel). 

*' Rinn mi mo leabadh cubhraidli le mirr, aloe, agus canal.''' — Proverks 
vii. 17. 

I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 

From the Hebrew : IIDJp, qi?mafnofi. Greek : Kti/a/xw/xoj/, kina- 
nuwion. 

POLYGONACE^. 

Polygonum (from ttoAu?, many, and 701/v, knee, many knees 
or joints). — Gaelic : lusa?i giinneach, kneed or jointed plants. 

Polygonum bistorta — Bistort, snakeweed. Gaelic and Irish : 
bilur (O'Reilly). Seems to mean the same as biolair^ a water- 
cress. The young shoots were formerly eaten. Welsh : lysiau'i- 
neidr, adder's plant. 

P. amphibium — Amphibious persicaria. Gaelic and Irish : 
gluineach an uisge, the water - kneed plant. It is often floating 
in water. Gluineach dhearg, the red-kneed plant. Its spikes of 
flowers are rose-coloured and handsome. Armstrong gives this 
name to P. convolvulus^ which is evidently wrong. 

P. aviculare — Knot-grass. Gaelic and Irish : gluineach bheag 
(O'Reilly), the small-jointed plant. 

P. convolvulus — Glimbing persicaria ; black bindweed ; 
climbing buckwheat. Gaelic and Irish : gluifieach dhubh, the 
dark-jointed plant. 

P. persicaria — The spotted persicaria. Gaelic and Irish : 
gluifieach mhor, the large- jointed plant. Am boifine-fola (Fer- 
gusson), the blood-spot. Lus chrann ceusaidh (M'Lellan), herb of 
the tree (of) crucifixion. The legend being that this plant grew 
at the foot of the Cross, and drops of blood fell on the leaves, 
and so they are to this day spotted. 

P. hydropiper — Water - pepper. Gaelic : lus an fhogair 
(M'Kenzie), the plant that drives, expels, or banishes. It had 
the reputation of driving away pain, flies, &c. '' If a good hand- 
ful of the hot biting arssmart be put under the horse's saddle, 
it will make him travel the better though he were half tired 
before " — Culpepper. Gluifieach teth, the hot-kneed plant. 

Rumex obtusifolius \ 

„ crispus V — Dock. Gaelic and Irish : copag — 

„ conglomeratus ) 
copagach, copach^ bossy. Welsh : copa^ tuft, a top. 



62 

R. sanguineus — Bloody-veined dock. Gaelic: a chopagach 
d/iearg, the red dock. The stem and veins of leaves are blood- 
red. 

R. alpinus — Monk's rhubarb. Gaelic : lus iia purgaid, the 
purgative weed. A naturalised plant. The roots were formerly 
used medicinally, and the leaves as a pot-herb. Welsh : arian- 
llys. The same name is given for rue. 

R. acetosa — Common sorrel. Gaelic : samh., sorrel. Irish : 
samhadh bo, cow - sorrel (for sain/i see Oxalis). Puinneag 
(M 'Donald). Irish : puineoga. Name given possibly for its 
efficacy in healing sores and bruises (a pugilist, puinneanach). 
Sealbhag, not from sealbh, possession, more likely from searbh, 
sour, bitter, from its acid taste. 

" Do shealbhag ^\z.\\ 's do luachair ^ 

A borcadh suas ma d' choir." — M'Donald. 
Thy pure sorrel and thy rushes 
Springing up beside thee. 

Sealgag (Irish, sealgan), are other forms of the same name. 
Copog shraide, the roadside or lane dock. Sobh (Shaw), the herb 
sorrel. 

R. acetosella — Sheep's sorrel. Gaelic and Irish : rua?iaidh, 
the reddish-coloured. It is often bright red in autumn. Pluirin 
seangan (O'Reilly), the small-flowered plant {pluran, a small 
flower ; seangan, slender). Samhadh caora (O'Reilly), sheep's 
sorrel. 

Oxyria reniformis — Mountain - sorrel. Gaelic and Irish : 
sealbhaig nan jiadh, the deer's sorrel. 

Aristolochiace^:. 

Aristolochia clematitis — Birth-wort. Odiirin (see Cyclamen). 

Asarum europasum — Common asarum. Gaelic : asair 
(M 'Donald), from the generic name, said to be derived from 
Greek — a, privative, and o-cipa, bandage. The leaves are emetic, 
cathartic, and diuretic. The plant was formerly employed to 
correct the efl'ects of excessive drinking, hence the French, 
cabaret. 

EmPETRACEvE. 

' Empetrum nigrum — Crow-berry. Gaelic and Irish : lus na 
fionnag (Jionnag, a crow). Sometimes written fiannag, Jiadhag 
{dearc jithich, raven's berry ; caor fionnaig, crow-berry), the ber- 



63 

ries which the Highland children are very fond of eating, though 
rather bitter. Taken in large quantities, they cause headache. 
Grouse are fond of them. Boiled with alum they are used to 
produce a dark-purple dye. Lus na stalog (O'Reilly), the star- 
ling's plant. 

EUPHORBIACEyE. 

Euphorbia e^igu^^^.^ | -Spurge. Gaelic and Irish : spuirse 

= spurge. Foifineamh lus, wart-wort. 

E. peplus — Petty spurge. Gaelic and Irish : lus leusaidh, 
healing plant. The plants of this genus possess powerful cath- 
artic and emetic properties. E. helioscopia has a particularly 
acrid juice, which is often applied for destroying warts, hence it 
is called foifuieamh lus. Irish : gear neimh {gear or geur, severe, 
and neitnh, poison, the milky juice being poisonous.) 

E. paralias — Sea- spurge. Irish : buidhe na ningean (O'Reilly), 
the yellow plant of the v/aves {riin^ a wave), its habitat being 
maritime sands. Not found in Scotland, but in Ireland, on the 
coast as far north as Dublin. This and the preceding species 
are extensively used by the peasantry of Kerry for poisoning, or 
rather stupefying, fish. 

Buxus sempervirens — Box, Gaelic and Irish : bocsa^ an 
alteration of ^v|os, the Greek name. 

"Suidhichidh mi anns an fhasach an giuthas, an gall ghiuthas, agus am 
bocsa le cheile. "—Isaiah. 

I will set in the desert the fir-tree and the pine and the box together. 

The badge of Clan M'Pherson and Clan M'Intosh. 

Mercurialis perennis — Wood mercury. Gaelic : lus ghlinne- 
bhracadail. Ltis ghlin?te, the cleansing wort ; bracadh, suppura- 
tion, corruption, &c. It was formerly much used for the cure 
of wounds. 

CUCURBITACE^. 

Cucumis sativus — Cucumber. Gaelic and Irish : cularan, 
perhaps from culair, the palate, or culear^ a bag. 

'*Is cuimhne leinne an t-iasg a dh 'ith sinn san Ephit gu saor ; nz.-cular- 
ain agus na ffiealbhucain." — Numbers xi. 5. 

We remember the fish that we did eat in Egypt freely, and the cucumber 
and the melons, 

" 'Sa thorc nimhe ri sgath a chularan.'"—M''Do^AhD. 
The wild boar destroying his cucwnbers. 



64 

Irish : ciicumhar- (O'Reilly), cucumber, said to be derived from 
the Celtic word cue (Gaelic, cuach), a hollow thing. In some 
species the rind becomes hard when dried, and is used as a cup. 
Latin : cucurbtta, a derivative from the Celtic. (See Loudon.) 
Welsh : chwerw ddwfr = water-sour. 

Cucumis melo — Melon. Gaelic and Irish : meal-bhuc, from 
mel or ifial (Greek, fjceXov, an apple), and bi/c, size, bulk. Ac- 
cording to Brockie, " mealbhucain (plural), round fruit covered 
with warts or pimples." Mileog, a small melon. 

Urticace^. 
Urtica — A word formed from Latin : uro, to burn. 

Jjrens I — ^q^^\q (Anglo-Saxon, 7ia^dl, a needle). Gaelic 

and Irish : fea?intag, neafjdog^ deanntag, iontag, iuntag (from 
feannfa, flayed, pierced, pinched— /^^/z;?, to flay, on account of 
its blistering effects on the skin ; ang, a sting ; iotjgfja, nails). 
Latin : ungues. 

* * Sealbhaichidh an t' ionntagach." — HoSEA. 
The nettles shall possess them. 

To this day it is boiled in the Highlands and in Ireland by 
the country people in the spring-time. Till tea became the 
fashion, nettles were boiled in meal, and made capital food. 
Caol-fail — caol, slender; fal^ spite, malice. In the Hebrides 
often called sj-adag (a spark), from the sensation (like that from 
a fiery spark) consequent upon touching. (Stuart.) 

Cannabis sativa — Hemp. Gaelic and Irish : eajjieab, the 
same as cannabis, and said to be originally derived from Celtic, 
caft, white ; but the plant has been known to the Arabs from 
time immemorial under the name Q)i quaneb. Corcach, hemp. 

"Buill do' n chaol chbi'caidh.^'' — M 'Donald. 
Tackling of hempen ropes. 

Welsh : cynarch. 

Parietaria officinalis — Wall pellitory. Gaelic and Irish : 
his a bhallaidh, from balladh (Latin, vallum ; Irish, balla), sl 
wall. A weed which is frequently found on or beside old walls 
or rubbish heaps, hence the generic name "parietaria," from 

^ '■'■ Neandog, the common name for it in Ireland. In feminine nouns, the' 
first consonant (letter) after the article «« (the) is softened in sound. 'An 
feanntag' — 'f when affected loses its sound, and * N ' is sounded instead: 
'N (f)eantog.'" — Canon Bourke. 



65 

paries^ a wall. Irish : mioimtas chaisil {caisiol^ any stone build- 
ing), the wall-mint. For viionntas, see Mentha. 

Humulus lupulus—jHop. Gaelic and Irish : lus an iea?ina— 
lion?i liiib/i, the ale or beer plant. Liofin^ leann (Welsh, Ihyn) 
beer, ale. 

Ulmus — Elm. Celtic : ailm. The same in Anglo-Saxon, 
Teutonic, Gothic, and nearly all the Celtic dialects. Hebrew : 
n'px, elah^ translated oak, terebinth, and elm. 

U. campestris — Gaelic and Irish : leamha?t, slamha?i (Shaw), 
liobkafi. Welsh : llwyfen. According to Pictet, in his work, 
' Les Origines Indo-Europeennes ou les Aryas Primitifs,' p. 221, 
" To the Latin : ' Ulmus ' the following bear an affinity (re- 
spond) — Sax.: ^//;a;. Scand.: ab)ir. Old German: elm. Rus.: 
ilemu. Polish : ilma. Irish : aibri, iiilm, and by inversion, 
* leamh^ or * leatnhati.^ " He says the root is ?//, meaning to 
burn. The tree is called from the finality of it, "to be burned." 
That is his opinion, and he is probably right. The common 
idea of leamhan is that it is from leamh^ tasteless, insipid, from 
the taste of its inner bark ; and liobh means smooth, slippery. 
And the tree in Gaelic poetry is associated with or symbolic 
of slipperiness of character, indecision. Cicely M 'Donald, who 
lived in the reign of Charles II., describing her husband, wrote 
as follows : — 

" Bu tu' n t-iubhair as a choille, 

Bu tu' n darach daingean laidir, 
Bu tu' n cuileann, bu tu 'n droighionn, 

Bu tu' n t' abhall molach, blath-mlior, 
Cha robh meur annad do' n chritheann, 

Cha robh do dhlighe ri fe^rna, 
Cha robh do chairdeas ri lea77ihan, 

Bu tu leannan nam ban aluinn. " 

Thou wast the yew from the wood, 

Thou wast the firm strong oak, 
Thou wast the holly and the thorn, 

Thou wast the rough, pleasant apple, 
Thou had'st not a twig of the aspen. 

Under no obligation to the alder, 
And hadst no friendship with the eltn, 
^ Thou wast the beloved of the fair. 

Ficus — Nearly the same in most of the European languages. 
Greek : o-i;^^. Latin : ficus. Celtic : fige. 

F. carica — Common fig-tree. Gaelic and Irish : crannftge or 
flghis. 

I 



66 

" Ach foghlumaibh cosamhlach do'n chrann fhige.'" 
Learn a parable from the fig-tree. 

Moms — Greek : />topo9, moros. Latin : morus^ a mulberry. 
Loudon, in his 'Encyclopedia of Plants,' says it is from the 
Celtic tnbr^ dark-coloured. There is no such Celtic root ; it may 
be from the Sanskrit, 7?mrc/i, Scotch, mirk, darkness, obscurity; 
and the Greek name has also this meaning. The fruit being of 
a darkish red colour. Old Ger. and Danish : mur-ber. 

M. nigra — Common mulberry. Gaelic and Irish : crann- 
maol-dhearc, tree of the mild aspect, or if dearc here be a berry, 
the mild-berry tree. Maol (Latin, inollis) has many significa- 
tions. Bald, applied to monks without hair, as Maol Choliwi, 
St Columba ; Maol losa, Maol Brtghid, St Bridget, &c. A pro- 
montory, cape, or knoll, as Maol Chifintire, Mull of Cantyre. 
Malvern, maol, and bearna, a gap. To soften, by making it less 
bitter, as " dean maol e," make it mild. Hence mulberry, mild- 
berry (Canon Bourke). 

Amentifer^ and Cupulifer^. 

Catkin-bearers — Gaelic : caitcan, the blossom of osiers. 

" 'Nis treigidh coileach a ghucag 

'S caitean brucach nan craobh." — M'Dgnat.d. 

Now the cock will forsake the buds 
And the spotted catkins of the trees, 

Quercus — Said in botanical works to be from the Celtic, quer, 
fine. There is no such word in any Celtic dialect, and even 
Pictet has failed, after expending two pages on it, to explain it. 

Q. robur — ("Robur comes from the Celtic, ro, excelling, and 
bur, development" — Canon Bourke). The oak. Gaelic and 
Irish : dair, genitive darach, sometimes written darag, diir, dru. 
Sanskrit : d7'u, druma, druta, a tree, the tree ; dam, a wood. 

** Simhach' us mor a bha 'n triath, 

Mar dharaig 's i liath air Lubar, 
A chain a dlu-dheug o shean 

Le dealan glan nan speur, 
Tha 'h-aomadh thar sruth o shliabh, 

A coinneach mar chiabh a fuaim." — OssiAN. 

Silent and great was the prince 

Like an oak-tree hoary on Lubar, 
Stripped of its thick and aged boughs 

By the keen lightning of the sky, 
It bends across the stream from the hill, 

Its moss sounds in the wind like hair. 



67 

(9w, omna^ the oak (O'Reilly). *' Cormac, King of Cashel, Ire- 
land, A.D. 903, says of omna that it equals fuamna^ sounds, or 
noises, because the winds resound when the branches of the 
oak resist its passage. According to Varro, it is from os, mouth, 
and men^ mind, thinking — that is, telling out what one thinks is 
likely to come. Cicero agrees with this, * Osmen voces hom- 
inum ' " — Canon Bourke. Compare- Latin : omen^ a sign, a prog- 
nostication,^it being much used in the ceremonies of the 
Druids. Omna, a lance, or a spear, these implements being 
made from the wood of the oak. Greek : hopv, a spear, because 
made of wood or oak. Eitheach, oak, from eithim, to eat, an 
old form of ith. Latin : ed-ere, as " oak " is derived from ak 
(Old German) to eat (the acorn). The " oak " was called 
Qiierciis esculus by the Latins. Rail, railaidh, oak. 

" Ni bliiodh achd, aon dhearc ar an ralaidh." 
There used to be only one acorn on the oak. 

Canon Eourke thinks it is derived from ro, exceeding, and ail, 
growth ; or ri, a king, and al or ail — that is, king of the growing 
plants. The Highlanders still call it righ na coille, king of the 
wood. The Spanish name roble seems to be cognate with 
robur. 

Q. ilex — Holm-tree. Gaelic and Irish : craohh thiiilvi, gen- 
itive of tolm, a knoll, may here be only an alteration of "holm." 
Darach sior-uaine, ever-green oak. 

Q. suber — The cork-tree. Gaelic : cranti airceain. Irish : 
crann aire. Aire, a cork. 

Fagus sylvatica — Beech. Gaelic and Irish : craobh fhaibhile. 
Welsh : ffawydd. Fai, from ^ayw, to eat. cfirjyos, the beech-tree. 
This name was first applied to the oak, and as we have no 
Quereus eseulus, the name Fagus is applied to the beech and not 
to the oak. Oruin (O'Reilly), see Thuja artieulata. Beith na 
measa, the fruiting birch. Meas, a fruit, as of oak or beech — like 
*'mess," "munch." French : manger, to eat. 

F. sylvatica var. atrorubens — Black beech. Gaelic : faibhile 
dubh (Fergusson), black beech, from the sombre appearance of 
its branches. The " mast " of the beech was used as food, and 
was called bachar, from Latin, baeehar ; Greek, /SaKxapis, a 
plant having a fragrant root. A name also given to Valeriana 
eeltiea (Sprengel), Celtic nard. 

Carpinus — Celtic : ear, wood ; and pin, a head. It having 
been used to make the yokes of oxen. 



68 

C. betulus — Hornbeam. Gaelic : leamhan bog, the soft elm. 
(See Ulnius ca7npest7ds). 

Corylus avellana — Hazel. Gaelic and Irish : calltuinn, call- 
dainn, callduinfi, cailtin, colluinn. Welsh : callen. Cornish : col- 
widen. Perhaps from Armoric : call. Gaelic : colli. Irish : 
coill^ a wood, a grove. New Year's time is called in Gaelic, 
coin ; " oidhche coille^^ the first night of January, then the hazel is 
in bloom. The first night in the new year, when the wind blows 
from the west, they call dair 7ia coille, the night of the fecunda- 
tion of trees ("Statistics," par. Kirkmichael). In Celtic supersti- 
tion the hazel was considered unlucky, and associated with loss 
or damage. The words call, col, collen, have also this significa- 
tion ; but if two nuts were found together [cno chomhlaicJi), good 
luck was certain. The Bards, however, did not coincide with 
these ideas. By it they were inspired with poetic fancies. 
" They beHeved that there were fountains in which the principal 
rivers had their sources ; over each fountain grew nine hazel 
trees, caill crinmon {crina, wise), which produced beautiful red 
nuts, which fell into the fountain, and floated on its surface, that 
the salmon of the river came up and swallowed the nuts. It was 
believed that the eating of the nuts caused the red spots on the 
salmon's belly, and whoever took and ate one of these salmon 
was inspired with the sublimest poetical ideas. Hence the ex- 
pressions, ' the nuts of science,' ' the salmon of knowledge.' " 
O'Curry's ' Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish.' 

The badge of Clan Colquhoun. 

Alnus — Name derived from Celtic. Al, a growth ; and Ian, 
full. According to Pictet, it is from alka, Sanskrit for a tree. 

A. glutinosa — Common alder. Gaelic and Irish : fearn — 
/earn, same origin as vardna (Sanskrit), a tree. Welsh : gwernen 
— givern, a swamp. It grows best in swampy places, and beside 
streams and rivers. Many places have derived their names from 
this tree, Gleafin Fearnaite. Fearnan, near Loch Tay ; Fearn, 
Ross-shire, &c. Ruaim (O'Reilly) {ruadh, red), it dyes red. 
When peeled it is white, but it turns red in a short time. The 
bark boiled with copperas makes a beautiful black colour. The 
wood has the peculiarity of splitting best from the root, hence 
the saying 

" Gacli fiodh o'n bharr, 's am/cdrna o'n bhun." 
Every wood splits best from the top, but the alder from the root. 

Betula alba — Birch. Gaelic and Irish : beatha. Welsh : 



69 

bedu^ seemingly from beath. Greek : yStwrry. Latin : vita, life. 
Also the name of the letter B in Celtic languages, correspond- 
ing to Hebrew ^^M (meaning a house). Greek : Beta. Generally 
written beith. 

" Sa bheiih chubhraidh." — OssiAN. 
In the fragrant birch. 

The Highlanders formerly made many economical uses of this 
tree. Its bark {meiHeag), they burned for light, and the smooth 
inner bark was used, before the invention of paper, for writing 
upon, and the wood for various purposes. 

The badge of the Clan Buchanan. 

B. verrucosa — Knotty birch. Gaelic : beatha carraigeach, the 
rugged birch ; beatha dubh-chasach, the dark-stemmed birch. 

B, pendula — Gaelic : beatha dubhach, the sorrowful birch 
(dubhachj dark, gloomy, sorrowful, mourning, frowning). In 
Rannoch and Breadalbane : Beatha cluasach, the many (droop- 
ing) ear birch. (Stuart.) 

B. nana. — Dwarf birch. Gaelic : beatha beag (Fergusson), the 
small birch. 

Castanea vesca — Common chestnut. Gaelic and Irish : chra- 
obh geanm-chno. 

" No na Qxz.Q\i\\z. geanm-chno cosmhuil r'a gheugaibh." — Ezekiel xxxi. 8. 
Nor the chestnut-tree like his branches. 

Geanm or geaufi, natural love, pure love, such as exists between 
relatives, — the tree of chaste love, and aio, a nut. The Celts 
evidently credited this tree with the same virtues as the chaste 
tree, Vitex agnus castiis (Greek, dyi/os ; and Latin, castus, 
chaste). Hence the Athenian matrons, in the sacred rites of 
Ceres, used to strew their couches with its leaves. Castanea is 
said to be derived from Castana, a town in Pontus, and that 
the tree is so called because of its abundance there. But the 
town Castana (Greek, Kao-ravoi') was probably so called on 
account of the virtues of its female population. If so, the Eng- 
lish name chestnut would mean chaste-nut, as it is in the Gaelic. 
Welsh : castan (from Latin, caste), chastely, modestly. The 
chestnut-tree of Scripture is now supposed to be Platanus orien- 
talis, the Chenar plane-tree. 

[.ffisculus hippocastanum — The horse - chestnut. Gaelic : 
geanm chno feadhaich (Fergusson). Belongs to the order Acer- 
acece. Was introduced to Scotland in 1709.] 



70 

Populus alba — Poplar. Gaelic : pobhuill. Irish : poibleag. 
German : pappel. Welsh and Armoric : pobl. Latin : populus. 
This name has an Asiatic origin, and became a common name 
to all Europe through the Aryan family from the East.^ Pictet 
explains it thus : " Ce nom est sans doute une reduplication de 
la racine Sanskrit////, magnum, altum." Ful pul, great, great, or 
big, big, as in the Hebrew construction, very big. We still say 
in Gaelic mor mor, big, big, for very big. Pul pul vi the Persian 
for poplar, and pullah for saHx. This tree is quite common in 
Persia and Asia Minor, hence it was as well known there as in 
Europe. The name has become associated with populus., the 
people, by the fact that the streets of ancient Rome were deco- 
rated with rows of this tree, whence it was called Arbor populi. 
Again, it is asserted that the name is derived from the constant 
movement of the leaves, which are in perpetual motion, like the 
populace — " fickle, like the multitude, that are accursed." 

P. tremula — Aspen. Gaelic and Irish : critheaim^ trembling. 

" Mar chritheach san t' sine," — Ull. 
Like an aspen in the blast. 

With the slightest breeze the leaves tremble, the poetic belief 
being that the wood of the Cross was made from this tree, 
and that ever since the leaves cannot cease from trembling. 
Eadhadh. Welsh : aethneii (aethiad, smarting). The mulberry 
tree of Scripture is supposed to be the aspen (Balfour), and in 
Gaelic is rendered craobh nan smeur. (See Morus and Rubus 
fruticosus. ) 

' * Agus an uair a chluineas tu fuim siubhail an mullach chraobh nan smeur, 
an sin gluaisidh tu thu fein." — 2 Samuel v, 24. 

And when thou hearest a sound of marching on the tops of the mulberry 
trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself. 

The badge of Clan Fergusson. 

Salix — According to Pictet, from Sanskrit, sala, a tree. 

" II a passe au snale dans plusieurs langues 
, . . Ces noms derivent de sala. " 

Gaelic and Irish : seileac/t, saileog, sal, suil. Cognate with Latin : 
salix. Fin. : salawa. Anglo-Saxon : salig, salh, from which 

^ See Canon Bourke's work on ' The Aryan Origin of the Gaelic Race 
and Language, ' London: Longman. 



71 

sallow (white willow) is derived. Welsh : helyg, willow. (See 
S. viminalis.) 

S. viminalis — Osier willow ; cooper's willow. Gaelic and 
Irish : fineajuhain (from fai^ vine ; and muin^ a neck), a long 
twig — a name also applied to the vine.^ Vimen in Latin means 
also a pliant twig, a switch osier. One of the seven hills of 
Rome (Viminalis Collis) was so named from a willow copse 
that stood there ; and Jupiter, who was worshipped among these 
willows, was called " Viminius ; " and his priests, and those of 
Mars, were called Salii for the same reason. The worship was 
frequently of a sensual character, and thus the willow has be- 
come associated with lust, filthiness. Priapus was sarcastically- 
called '' Salacissimus Jupiter," hence salax, lustful, salacious ; 
and in Gaelic, salach (from sal) ; German, sal, polluted, defiled. 
The osier is also called biinsag, bun, a stump, a stock. 
Maothan, from 7?iaoth, smooth, tender. Gall sheileach, the 
foreign willow. 

S. caprea, and S. aquatica — Common sallow. Gaelic and 
Irish : siiileag, probably the same as Irish, saileog (Anglo-Saxon, 
salig, sallow), Stiil — the old Irish name — (in Turkish sii means 
water) in Irish and GaeHc, the eye, look, aspect, and sometimes 
tackle (Armstrong). The various species of willow were exten- 
sively used for tackle of every sort. Ropes, bridles, &c., were 
made from twisted willows. *' In the Hebrides, where there is 
so great a scarcity of the tree kind, there is not a twig, even 
of the meanest willow, but what is turned by the inhabitants 
to some useful purpose." — Walker's * Hebrides.' And in Ire- 
land to this day " gads," or willow ropes, are made. Geal- 
sheileach (Armstrong), the white willow or sallow tree. Irish : 
crann sailigh fhrancaigh, the French willow. 

S. babylonica — The Babylonian willow. Gaelic: seileach an 
f srutha {sriith, a brook, stream, or rivulet), the willow of the 
brook. 

" Agus gabhaidh sibh dhuibh fein air a' cheud la meas chraobh aliiinn, 
agus seileach an /' srutha. " — Lev. xxiii. 40. 

And take unto yourselves on the first day fruit of lovely trees, and vidllovvs 
of the brook. 

MvRICACEiE. 

Myrica gale — Bog myrtle, sweet myrtle, sweet gale. Gaelic : 
rideag, Irish : rideog, rileog (changing sound of d to I being 

^ ^* Finemhain fa m' chomhair" (in Genesis) — a vine opposite to me. 



72 

easier). J^bd or roid is the common name in the Highlands, 
perhaps from the Hebrew, on"^, rothem^ a fragrant shrub. It is 
used for numerous purposes by the Highlanders, e.g.^ as a substi- 
tute for hops ; for tanning ; and from its supposed efficacy in 
destroying insects, beds were strewed with it, and even made of 
the twigs of gale, which is there called ?iodha. •' And to this 
day it is employed by the Irish for the same purpose by those 
who know its efficacy. The rideog is boiled and the tea or juice 
drank by children to kill 'the worms.' I think children edu- 
cated in our national schools should be taught to know these 
plants and their value." — Canon Bourke. 
Badge of the Clan Campbell. 

CONIFERiE. 

Pinus — French : le pin. German \ pyn-baum. Italian : il pino. 
Spanish : el pmo. Irish : pinn chratifi. Gaelic : pin - c/irann. 
Anglo-Saxon : pijiu. All these forms of the same name are 
derived, according to Pictet, from the Sanskrit verb phia, the 
past participle oi pita, to be fat, juicy. From ptna, comes Latin, 
pinus, and the Gaelic, pin. 

P. sylvestris — Scotch pine, Scots fir. Gaelic : giiiihas, 
giiibhas. 

" M.2iX gihbhas a lub an doinionn."— OssiAN. 
Like a pine bent by the storm. 

Giiithas, probably from the same root z.?,picea, pitch pine. Sans- 
krit : pish, soft, juicy. Gaelic : giiibhas, a juicy tree, — from the 
abundance of pitch or resin its wood contains ; Con or cofta 
(O'Reilly), from Greek : x^vo?, ko?ios, a cone, a pine. Hence 
conadh, fire-wood. Fir in EngHsh, from Greek, itvp, fire, because 
good for fire. 

Badge of the Macgregors — Clan Alpin. 

P. picea — Silver pine. Gaelic: ^/7/M^j-^^^^/(Fergusson), white 
pine. First planted at Inveraray Castle in 1682. 

Abies communis — Spruce-fir. Gaelic : ^///M^j" Lochla?mach, 
Scandinavian pine. 

" Nuair theirgeadh ^/wMaj Lochlainneach." — M'Codrum. 
When the spruce fir is done. 

Lbchlannach, from loch, lake, and lann, a Germano-Celtic word 
meaning land — i.e., the lake-lander, a Scandinavian. 



73 

" Giublias glan na Lochlainn, 
Fuaight' le copar ruadh." 

Polished fir of Norway, 
Bound with reddish copper. 

P. larix — Larch. Gaelic and Irish : laireag. Scotch : larick. 
Latin : larix^ from the Celtic, lar^ fat, from the abundance of 
resin the wood contains. Welsh : larswyddefi, fat wood. 

P. strobus — {Sti'ohus^ a name employed by Pliny for an east- 
ern tree used in perfumery ) Weymouth pine. Gaelic : giiithas 
Sasimnach (Fergusson), the English pine. It is not English, 
however; it is a North American tree, but was introduced from 
England to Dunkeld in 1725. 

Cupressus — Cypress. Irish and Gaelic: ciiphair^ an altera- 
tion of Cyprus, where the tree is abundant. 

C. sempervirens — Common cypress. Gaelic : craobh bhrom, 
the tree of sorrow. Bron, grief, sorrow, weeping. Craobh uaine 
giutkatSj the green fir-tree. 

" Is cosmhuil mi ri crann uaine glut hais." — HOSEA xiv. 8. 
T am like a green fir-tree. 

The fir-tree of Scripture (Hebrew berosh and beroth are translated 
fir-trees) most commentators agree is the cyjDress. 

Thuja articulata — Thyine wood. Gaelic : jiodh-thine. 

" Agus gach uile ^nhfhiodha thine." — Rev. xviii. 12. 
And all kinds of thyine wood. 

Alteration of thya^ from Qvm, to sacrifice. Another kind of 
pine, Hebrew, 07'en (Irish and Gaelic, oruifi), is translated ash 
in Isaiah xliv. 14, and beech by O'Reilly. 

Cedar — (So called from its firmness.) Hebrew: <^'^'^, erez. 
Cedrus Liba?ii^ cedar of Lebanon. Gaelic and Irish : crami 
sheiidar, cedar-tree. 

'■'' Kg\x% ^\x \x\\q. sheudaraibh Lcbanoiti.'^'' — Isaiah ii. 13. 
And upon all the cedars of Lebanon. 

The cedar wood mentioned in Lev. xiv. 4, was probably y//f;//}^<?;7^i- 
oxy cedrus, which was a very fragrant wood, and furnished an oil 
that protects from decay — cedar oil (KeSptov). " Carmina linenda 
cedro " — i.e., worthy of immortality. 

*' Agnsjiod/i sheudar, agus scarlaid, agus hiosop." 
And cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop. 
K 



74 

Juniperus — Said to be "from the Ctliic Jeneprus, which sig- 
nifies rough or rude" (Loudon), a word 7iot occurring in any- 
Celtic vocabularies that I have consulted. It seems to be the 
Latinised form of the Celtic root m, iubh, iur, yw (see Taxus). 
From the same root comes yew in English. Irish : iubhar- 
beinne (O'Reilly), the hill yew; iubhartalamh^ the ground yew; 
ubhar-chraige, the rock yew ; all given as names for the juniper. 
Jtmiperus is mentioned by both Virgil and Pliny. Both the 
Greeks and Romans reluctantly admitted that they were in- 
debted to the Celts for many of their useful sciences, and even 
their philosophy (see Diogenes Laertius), as they certainly were 
for their plant and geographical names. 

J. communis — Juniper. Gaelic and Irish : aiteil, aitinn, 
aitiol. 

" Ach chaidh e fein astar latha do'n fhasach agus thainaig e agus shuidh 
e fuidh craobh aiteil." — i Kings xix. 4, 

And he went a day's journey into the desert, and he sat under a juniper 
tree. 

The juniper of Scripture, Genista 7)ionosper7na, was a kind of 
broom. Aiteil, from ait. Welsh : aeth, a point, furze. Irish : 
aitean7i, furze, from its pointed leaves. Bior leacain (in Arran), 
the pointed hill-side plant. Staoiji (in the North Highlands), 
caoran staoifi, juniper berries {staoin, a little drinking-cup). 

The badge of Clans Murray, Ross, M'Leod, and the Athole 
Highlanders. 

J. sabina — Savin. Gaelic : samhan (Armstrong), alteration of 
"sabina" the "sabina herba" of Pliny. Common in Southern 
Europe, and frequently cultivated in gardens, and used medicin- 
ally as a stimulant, and in ointments, lotions, &c. 

Taxus — According to Benfey is derived from the Sanskrit, 
taksh, to spread out, to cut a figure, to fashion. Persian tak. 
Greek : to^o^., an arrow. Irish and Gaelic : ttiag/i, a bow made 
of the taxos or yew, now applied to the hatchet used in place of 
the old bow. 

T. baccata — Common yew. Gaelic and Irish : iiiihar, 
iubhar, iughar, from iui. Greek : /o?, an arrow, or anything 
pointed. Arrows were poisoned with its juice; hence in old 
Gaelic it was called iogh, a severe pain, and ioghar (Greek, 
txwp, ichor) pus, matter. The yew was the wood from which 
ancient bows and arrows were made, and that it might be ready 
at hand, it was planted in every burial-ground. 



75 

" 'N so fein, a Cliuchullin, Iha' n uir, 

'S caoin mthar 'tha 'fas o'n uaigli." ^— OssiAN. 

In this same spot Chuchullin, is their dust, 
And fresh the yew tree grows upon their grave. 

Hence another form of the name eo^ a grave. Shisior, sinnsior 
(O'Reilly), long standing, antiquity, ancestry. The yew is re- 
markable for its long life. The famous yew of Fortingall in 
Perthshire, which once had a circumference of 56^ feet, is 
supposed to be 3500 years old. Sineadhfeadha (O'Reilly), pro- 
tracting, extending. 

The badge of Clan Fraser. 



ENDOGENS. 

ORCHIDACE.E. 

Orchis —Greek : opx^?, a plant with roots in the shape of 
testicles. " Mirabilis est orchis herba, sive serapias, gemina 
radice testiculis simili" — Pliny. 

0. maculata— The spotted orchis. Gaelic and Irish : icrach 
bhallach, from iir, fresh ; iirach^ a bottle ; uradh, apparel, and 
ballach, spotted. 

0. mascula — Early orchis. Gaelic : moihiirach^ from inoth^ 
the male of any animal. 

" Lointeann far an cinn 

I'na moth'raicheari.'" — M'Intyre in ' Ben Doran. ' 

Meadows where the early orchis grow. 

Irish : magairlin meireach^ {magairle, the testicles ; ineireach 
(Greek, fneiro), joyful, glad). Clachan gadhair (gadhar a hound, 
clach^ a stone). The name, cuigeal aji losgain^ the frog's spindle, 
is applied to many of the orchis ; and frequently the various 
names are given to both maculata and mascula. 

0. conopsea — Fragrant orchis. Gaelic : lus taghta, the 
chosen or select weed. 

Ophrys — Greek : o^pv^ (Gaelic, abhra), the eyelash, to which 
the delicate fringe of the inner sepals may be well compared. 
*' A plant with two leaves " — Freund. 

1 Laing is not correct when, in attacking the genuineness of the poems of 
Ossian, he asserts that the yew, so often mentioned in these poems, is not 
indigenous. There are various places, such as Gleniur, Duniur, &c., that 
have been so named from time immemorial, which prove that the yew was 
abundant in these places at least many centuries ago. 



76 

0. or Listera ovata— Tway blade. Gaelic : da-dhuilkach, 
two-leaved ; da-bhileach, same meaning. 

Epipactis latifolia — White helleborine. Gaelic : ' elebor-geal.^ 
A plant used formerly for making snuff. " The root of hellebor 
cut in small pieces, the pouder drawne vp into the nose causeth 
sneezing, and purgeth the brain from grosse and slimie humors" 
— Gerard, 1597. This is probably the plant referred to in 
" Morag," when M'Donald describes the buzzing in his head, 
for even his nose he had to stop with hellebore, since he parted 
from her endearments. 

" Mo cheann tha Ian do sheilleanaibh 
O dheilich mi ri d'bhriodal 
Mo shron tha stoipt' a dh-elehor. 
Na deil, le teine dimbis." 

iRIDACEiE. 

Iris — Signifying, according to Plutarch, the "eye." Canon 
Bourke maintains " it is derived from eipw, to settle. And as a 
name it was by the pagan priests applied to the imaginary mes- 
senger, sent by gods and goddesses to others of their class, to 
announce tidings of goodwill. At times they imagined her sent 
to mortals, as in Homer, to settle matters, or to say they were 
destined to be settled. Such was the duty of Iris. Now 
amongst Jews and Christians, the rainbow was the harbinger of 
peace to man, hence it was called ' Iris ; ' and the circle of 
blue, grey, or variegated tints around the pupil of the eye is not 
unlike the rainbow — therefore this circlet was so called by optic 
scientists, simply because they had no other word; and botanists 
have, by comparison, applied it to ih^ fleur-de-lis, because it is 
varied in hue, like the iris of the eye, or the rainbow. Iris 
does not and did not convey the idea of eye." 

1. pseudacorus — The yellow flag. Gaelic: bog-uisge — bog, 
soft, but here a corruption of bogha-tnsge, the rainbow. Gaelic 
and Irish : seilisdear, often seileasdear, and siolastar. The ter- 
mination, tar, dear, or astar, in these names, means one of a 
kind, having a settled form or position. One finds this ending 
common in names of plants — as, oleaster, cotoneaster, &c., like 
" Tr]p " in Greek, " fear " in Gaelic. Scil (the first syllable), from 
sol, the sun : solus, light; sol and leus, i.e., lux, light. Greek : 
^HXtos (17 or e long), hence sell, e and / to give a lengthened sound, 

^ See Hdleborus viridis. 



77 

as in Greek. Seilcastar, therefore, means the plant of hght- 
Fieur lie luce. Other forms of the word occur. Siol instead 
oi sell, as siolsirach ; siol ox sil, to distil, to drop — an alteration 
probably suggested by the medicinal use made of the roots of 
the plant, which were dried, and made into powder or snuff, 
to produce salivation by its action on the mucous membrane. 
^^ Feileasirom^ feleaslrom, feleastar. Here /is the affected or di- 
gammated form. When eleastar (another form of the word) lost 
the 'i-,' then, for sound's sake, it took the digammated form 
{f)eleastar. Strom (the last syllable) is a diminutive termina- 
tion. Seilistear, diminutive form seilistri?i, and corrupted into 
seilistrojn " — Bourke. 

Crocus — Greek : KpoKos. Much employed amongst the an- 
cients for seasonings, essences, and for dyeing purposes. 

saivus I — 3af^Yon crocus, meadow saffron. 

Colchicum autumnale f ' 

Gaelic and Irish : c?'b, crbd/i, crock — crodh chorcar?- 

" 'Se labhair Fionn nan chro-shnuaidh." — CoNN Mac Dearg. 
Thus spake Fingal the saffron-hued. 

*• Spiocnard agus croch." — Dana Sholhim, iv. 14. 
Spikenard and saffron. 

Saffron was much cultivated anciently for various purposes, but 
above all for dyeing. " The first habit worn by persons of dis- 
tinction in the Hebrides was the lei7i croich, or saffron shirt, so 
called from its being dyed with saffron."— Walker. The Romans 
had their crocota, and the Greeks 6 KpoKOJTos, a saffron-coloured 
court dress. Welsh : saffrwm, saffron, from the Arabic name, 
' z'afardn, which indicates that the name of the plant is of Asiatic 
origin. 

Amaryllidace^. 

Narcissus pseudo-narcissus V_DaffodiI. G^e^x<i:lusachrom- 
,, jonQLuilla J 

chinn, the plant having a bent or drooping head. 

Galanthus nivalis — Snowdrop. Gaelic and Irish : gealag 
lair, — gealag, white as milk; Idr, the ground. Galant/ms. 
Greek : yoXa, milk, and avBo<i, a flower. 

Aloe — Hebrew, m^ns*, ahaloth. Gaelic and Irish : aloe. 

" Leis na h-uile chraobhaibh tuise, mirr agus £7/^6'." 

With all trees of frankincense ; myrrh, and aloes.— Song of Solomon, 
iv. 14. 

^ For corcu7\ see Lecanora tartarea. 



78 

The aloe of Scripture^ must not be confounded with the bitter 
herb well known in medicine. 

LlLIACE^. 

Lilium — Greek: Xupiov. From the Celtic: //. colour, hue. 
Welsh : l/iu. Gaelic : //. 

" A mhaise-mhna is ailidh li ! "— Fingalian Poems. 
Thou fair-faced beauty, 

"Lily seems to signify a flower in general." — Wedgewood. 
Gaelic and Irish : lilidh or /}//. 

Convallaria majalis — Lily of the valley. Gaelic: //// tian 
Ion. Lili nan gleann. 

" Air ghilead, mar lili nan lbi7ttean.'''' — M 'Donald. 
White as the lily of the valley. 

" Is ros Sharon mise lili nan gleann." — Stuart. 
I am the rose of Sharon, the lily of the glen. 

" The lily of Scripture was probably Lilium chalcedoniciimy — 
Balfour. 

Allium — The derivation of this word is said to be from all 
(Celtic), hot, burning. There is no such word. The only word 
that resembles it in sound, and with that signification, is sgallta, 
burned, scalded; hence, perhaps, " scallion," the English for a 
young onion. Latin : calor. 

A. cepa {cepj Gaelic : ceap, a head) — The onion. Gaelic : 
uinnean. Irish : oinninn. Welsh : wynwyn. French : oignon. 
German : otijon. Latin : nnio. Gaelic : siobaid, siobann. Welsh : 
sibol. Scotch : sybo. German : ziviebel, scallions or young 
onions. Cut/iarlan, a bulbous plant. In Lome, and elsewhere 
along the W. Highlands, frequently called Srojia?n/i (probably 
from Sron and amh, raw in the nose^ ox pungent in the 7wse). 

A. porrum^ — Garden leek. Gaelic and Irish : leigis^ leiceas, 
leicis. German : lauch, leek. 

*' Agus na leicis agus na \\''uinneinea7i.''^ — NUMBERS, xi. 5. 
And the leeks and the onions. 

Irish : bugha (Shaw), leeks, fear. O'Clery, in his ' Vocabulary,' 
published a.d. 1643, describes it thus: ^^ Bugh, i.e., luibh gorm 
no gl^s ris a samhailtean sliile bhios gorm no glks." That is, a 
blue or grey plant, to which the eye is compared if it be blue or 

^ Aqiiila7'ia agallochum. 

^ *'Porrum " from the Celtic, pori, to eat, to graze, to browse. 



79 

grey. The resemblance between a leek and the eye is not very 
apparent, as the following quotation shows : — 

" Dhearca mar dhlaoi don bhugha^ 
Is a dha bhraoi cearta caol-dhubha." — O'Brien. 

His eyes like a bunch of leeks, 

And his two eyebrows straight, dark, narrow. 

Although Shaw gives the name to leek, probably the plant 
referred to is the harebell (see Scilla non - scripta). Irish : 
coindid, coifme, cainneji. Welsh : cenifi {cen, a skin, peel, scales, 
given to onions, garHc, leeks). 

"Do roidh, no do coindid, no do ablaibh." 
Thy gale, nor thy onions, nor thy apples. 

Coindid, though applied to leeks, onions, &c., means seasoning, 
condiments, Latin : condo. 

A. ursinum — Wild garlic. From the Celtic. Gaelic and 
Irish : garleag. Welsh : garlleg, from gar, gairce, bitter, most 
bitter. Gairgean. Creamh (Welsh, craf), crea?fi, to gnaw, 
chew. Lurachaii, the flower of garlic. 

" Le d' lurachain chreajiihach fhason 
'Sam buicein bhan orr' shuas." — M 'Donald. 

The feast of garlic, " Feisd chreamh," was an important occasion 
for gatherings and social enjoyment to the ancient Celts. 

" Ann's bidh creamh agus sealgan, agus luibhe iomdha uile fhorreas, re a 
n-itheadh urghlas feadh na bleadhna ma roibhe ar teitheadh 6 chaidreath na 
n-daoine, do 'n gleann da loch." — Irish. 

Where garlic and sorrel, and many other kinds, of which I ate fresh 
throughout the year before I fled from the company of men to the glen of the 
Two Lochs. ^ 

A. scorodoprasum — Rocambole. Gaelic and Irish : creamh 
nan crag (M'Kenzie), the rock garlic. 

A. ascalonicum — Shallot. Gaelic : sgalaid (Armstrong). (See 
Alliuvi). 

A. schoenoprasum — Chives. Gaelic : feuran. Irish : fearan, 
the grass -like plant. Saidse. Creamh ghdradh, the garden 
garlic. Welsh : ce7iin Pedr, Peter's leek. 

A. vineale — Crow garlic. Gaelic: garleag Mhuire (Arm- 
strong), Mary's garlic. 

^ A most gloomy and romantic spot in the County of Wicklow. 
"Glen da lough ! thy gloomy wave, 

Soon was gentle Kathleen's grave." — Moore. 



8o 

Narthecium ossifragum — Bog asphodel. Gaelic and Irish : 
bitoch, bliochaUj from blioch, milk. Welsh : givaew^r trenbi^ king's 

lance. 

' ' Nuair thigheadh am buaichaill a mach, 
'Sa gabhadh e mu chul a chriiidh 
Mu'n cuairt do Bhad-nan-clach-glas, 
A bhuail 'air m bu trie am bliochd." — M'Leod. 

When the cowherd comes forth, 
And follows his cows 
Around Bhad-nan-clach-glas, 
Often he is struck with the asiohodel. 

Scilla non-scripta— Bluebell; wild hyacinth. GditWc : fuaih 
m/mic, the pig's fear or aversion, the bulbs being very obnoxious 
to swine. Brog na acbhaig, cuckoo's shoe. Irish : biith a muc. 
Probably buth is the same as biigha (see Alliiiin pori'um)^ fear, 
the pig's fear. M'Lauchainn called it lili giicagach. 
" Lili gucagach nan cluigean." 
The bell-flowered lily. 
S. vema — Squill (and the Latin, scilla, from the Arabic, 
dsgyT). Gaelic : lear uiiieann, the sea-onion, Lear, the sea, the 
surface of the sea. 

" Clos na vs\\xv-lear uaine."— OssiAN, 
The repose of the smooth green sea. 

Welsh : winivyii y vior, sea-onion. 

Tulipa sylvestris — Tulip. Gaelic : tuiliop. The same name 
in almost all European and even Asiatic countries. Persian : 
thoidyban (De Souza). 

Asparagus officinalis — Common asparagus. Gaelic : creai)ih 
mac-fiadh. Irish : creamh-miiic fiadh, wild boar's leek or garlic. 
The same name is given to hart's tongue fern. Asparag, from 
the generic name o-n-apaao-u), to tear, on account of the strong 
prickles with which some of the species are armed. 

Ruscus — Latinised form of Celtic root n/s, wood, husk ; r^/s- 
gac/i, holly. Welsh : rhysgiad, an over-growing. Also bfuscus, 
from Celtic, brus, bruis, small branches, brushwood. 

R. aculeatus — Butcher's broom. Gaelic : calg-bhrudhainn 
(Armstrong). Irish: calgbhrndhan (Shaw) — calg, a prickle, 
from its prickly leaves ; and bruth, brjiid, a thorn, anything 
pointed ; bnidha?i, generally spelled brughan, a faggot. Or it 
may only be a corruption from h'utn, broom. Calg bhealaidh, 
the prickly broom. It was formerly used by butchers to clean 
their blocks, hence the English name "butchers' broom." 



8 1 

Naiadace^. 

Potamogeton.- Greek : Trora/xo?, a river, and yeiTov, near. 

P. natans — Broad-leaved pond weed. Gaelic : duiliasg na 
h'aibhne, the river leaf. Most of the species grow immersed in 
ponds and rivers, but flower above its surface. Liobhag, from 
liobh, smooth, polish, from the smooth pellucid texture of the 
leaves, their surface being destitute of down or hair of any kind. 
Irish: liachroda^ — liach, a spoon, rod, a water-weed, seaweed; 
liach-Brighidey Bridget's spoon. Probably these names were also 
given to the other species of pondweeds (such as P. polygon if oil us) 
as well as to F. natafis. 

Zostera marina — The sweet sea -grass. Gaelic and Irish: 
bilearach (in Argyle, bileanach), from bileag, a blade of grass. 
The sea-grass was much used for thatching purposes, and it was 
supposed to last longer than straw. 

Alismace^. 

Alisma. — Greek : aXto-/x,a, an aquatic plant ; said to be from 
a Celtic root, alls, water. If ever this was a Celtic vocable it 
has ceased to have this signification : in Welsh alls means the 
lowest point, hell. 

A. Plantago — Water-plantain. Gaelic and Irish : co?--chopaig 
{cor or cora^ a weir, a dam, and copag, a dock, or any large leaf of 
a plant). It grows in watery places. Welsh : llyren, a duct, a 
brink or shore. 

Triglochin palustre — Arrow-grass. Gaelic : barr a' inhilltich, — 
*' Bun na cipe is bhi-r a' mhilltich.'''' — M'Intyre. 
barr, top, and iniUtich (Irish), "good grass," and mi'lneach, a 
thorn or bodkin — hence the English name arrow-grass. Generic 
name from rpets, three, and yXwxt?, a point, in allusion to the three 
angles of the capsule. Sheep and cattle are fond of this hardy 
species, which afford an early bite on the sides of the Highland 
mountains. Milltich is commonly used in the sense of " grassy;" 
maghafia7i 7?iillteach, verdant or grassy meadows. 

Lemnace/E. 
Lemna minor — Duckweed. Gaelic : ^ mac gun athair, son 
without a father. Irish: liis gan aihair gan mhathair, fatherless 
motherless wort. A curious name, perhaps suggested by the 

1 Mac-gun-athair may have originally been meacan air, — meacan^ a plant, 
air, gen. of ar, slow (hence the name of the river "Arar" in France, 
meaning the slow-flowing river, — '^^ Arar dubitans qui suos cursos agat " — 
Seneca), the plant that grows in slow or sluggish water. 

L 



82 

root being suspended from its small egg-shaped leaf, and not 
affixed to the ground. Gran-lachmi, — gra7i, seed, grain, ' and 
lach^ a duck. The roundish leaves, and the fact that ducks are 
voraciously fond of feeding on them, have suggested this and the 
following names : Ros lachai?i, the ducks' rose or flower. Irish : 
abhran ^^;^^^ (O'Reilly), — abhran is the plural of abhra^ an eyelid, 
and do7tog^ a kind of fish, a young ling. The fish's eyelids ; 
more likely a corruption of aran timiiaig^ duck's bread or meat. 

It was used by our Celtic ancestors as a cure for headaches 
and inflammations. 

Arace^. 

Arum, formerly aroti, probably from the ancient Celtic root 
ar, land, earth ; hence Latin, aro, to plough, and Gaelic, aran^ 
bread, sustenance. The roots of many of the species are used 
both for food and medicine. 

A. maculatum — Wake-robin, lords and ladies. Gaelic : cluas 
chaoifi, the soft ear {caoin^ soft, smooth, gentle, &c., and duas^ 
ear). The ear-shaped spathe would probably suggest the name. 
Cuthaidhy from cuth, a head, a bulb — hence cutharlan^ any bulb- 
ous-rooted plant. Cuthaidh means also wild, savage. Gachar 
and gaoicifi cuthigh are given in O'Reilly's Dictionary as names 
for the Arum, from cai^ a cuckoo. Old English : cuckoo's pint. 

ORONTIACEiE. 

Acorus calamus — Sweet-flag. Gaelic : cuilc-mhilis, sweet-rush ; 

" Cuilc mhilis agus canal." 

Calamus and cinnamon. 

cuilc^ a reed, a cane. Greek : KaXafio^f applied to reeds, bul- 
rush canes, e.g., cuile na Leig, the reeds of Lego. Cobhan 
ciiilc, an ark of bulrushes. Cuik-chrann, cane ; fnilis (Greek : 
IJiiXiaa-a, a bee), sweet. Before the days of carpets, this plant is 
said to have supplied the " rushes " with which it was customary 
to strew the floors of houses, churches, and monasteries. 

Typhace^. 

Typha, from Greek, tv</>09, a marsh in which all the species 
naturally grow. 

T. latifolia — Great reed-mace or cat's-tail. Gaelic and Irish : 
bodan dub/i, from bod^ a tail, and dub/i, large, or dark. Oiigeal 
fiam ban-stth, the fairy-woman's spindle. It is often, but incorrectly, 
called bog bluiine or bulrush (see Scirpus laaistris). The downy 
seeds were used for stuffing pillows, and the leaves for making 



«3 

mats, chair -bottoms, thatch, and sometimes straw hats or 
bonnets. 

T. angustifolia — Lesser reed-mace or cat's-tail. Irish : bodan 
(O'Reilly), dim. of bod, a tail. 

Sparganium. — Name in Greek denoting a little band, from the 
ribbon-like leaves. 

S. ramosum — Branched bur-reed. Gaelic : righ seisg, the 
king's sedge, from its being a large plant with sword-shaped 
leaves. Seisg mheirg (Stewart), — meirg, rust, a standard or banner. 

S. simplex — Upright bur -reed. Gaelic: seisg madraidh. 
Armstrong gives this name to .S. erectum^ by which he doubt- 
less means this plant. Seisg, sedge, and madradh, a dog, a 
mastiff. Name probably suggested by the plant being in per- 
fection in the dog-days, the month of July, viios Mhadrail. 

JUNCACEvE. 

Juncus, from the Latin Jungo, to join. The first ropes were 
made from rushes, and also floor covering. Ancient Gaelic : 
aoin, from aoft, one. Latin : tmus. Greek : cv. Ger. : ein. 

" A dath amar dhath an aeil, 
Coilcigh eturra agus aein. 
Sida eturra is brat gorm, 
Derg or eturra is glan chorn. " 

(From the description of the Lady Crehe's house by Caeilte MacRonain, 
from the Books of Ballymote, a rare ancient poem. ) 

The colour [of her dtin] is like the colour of lime : 
Within it are couches and green rushes ; 
Within it are silks and blue mantles ; 
Within it are red gold and crystal cups. 

J. conglomeratus — Common rush. Gaelic and Irish : luachar, 
a general name for all the rushes, meaning splendour, brightness; 
hence luachar, a lamp. Latin : lucerna. Sanscrit : lauchanan, from 
the root, lauch, light. The pith of this and the next species was 
•commonly used to make rush-lights. The rushes were stripped 
of their outer green skin, all except one narrow stripe, and then 
they were drawn through melted grease and laid across a stool 
to set. " The title Luachra was given to the chief Druid and 
magician, considered by the pagan Irish as a deity, who opposed 
St Patrick at Tara in the presence of the king and the nobility, 
who composed the convention" — 'Life of St Patrick.' Brog 
braidhe (O'Reilly), — brog, a shoe ; but here it should be brodh^ 
straw ; braidhe, a mountain, the mountain straw or stem. 



84 

J. elfusus — Soft rush. Gaelic : luachar bog^ soft rush. Irish : 
feath, a bog. It grows best in boggy places. Fead, which seems 
to be the same name, is given also to the bulrush. Fead^ a 
whistle, a bustle. 

" 'S X\o\vaA\ox feadan caol, 
Air an eiiicli gaoth." — M'Intyre. 

Doubtless suggested by the whistling of the wind among the 
rushes and reeds. The common rush and the soft rush were 
much used in ancient times as bed -stuffs; they served for 
strewing floors, making rough couches, &c. 

J. articulatus — Jointed rush. Gaelic : lochaii nan dainh. 
This name is given by Lightfoot in his ' Flora Scotica,' but it 
should have been lachan nan dainh. Lac/ian, a reed, the ox 
or the hart's reed. 

J. squarrosus — Heath-rush, stool- bent. Gaelic : bru-corcur 
(M'Alpine), — bru-chorachd, the deers' moor-grass; bru,d. deer, a 
hind ; corcach^ a moor or marsh. See Scirpus. 

^'' Bruchorachd 2A zioh,'^ 
Lusan am bi brigh," &c. 

— M'Intyre in 'Ben Doran.' 

Heath-rush and *' deer's hair," 
Plants nutritious they are, &c. 

Specimens of this plant have also been supplied with the Gaelic 
name moran labelled thereon, and in another instance muran. 
These names mean the plants with tapering roots; the same 
signification in the Welsh, moron^ a carrot. (See Mnirneach — 
Ammophila arcftarta.) 

J. maritimus and acutus — Sea-rush. Irish : meithan (O'Reil- 
ly). Meith, fat, corpulent. /. acutus (the great sea-rush) is the 
largest British species. 

Luzula. — Name supposed to have been altered from Italian, 
lucciola, a glow-worm. It was called by the ancient botanists 
gramen luxulce (Latin, lux, light). 

L. sylvatica — Wood-rush. Gaelic : luachar chille, the bright 
grass or rush of the wood. The Italian name lucciola is said to be 
given from the sparkling appearance of the heads of flowers when 
wet with dew or rain. Learman (Stewart), possibly from lear or 
leir^ clear, discernible ; a very conspicuous plant, more of the 
habit of a grass than a rush, the stalk rising to the height of 
more that two feet, and bearing a terminal cluster of brownish 
flowers, with large light-yellow anthers. 

^ See Scirpus caspitosus. 



85 

Schoenus (from ;(otvos or o-xoti/os, a cord in Greek). — P>om 
plants of this kind cords or ropes were made. 

S. nigricans — Bog - rush. GaeHc : seiinhean (Armstrong). 
Irish: seimhin {seimh, smooth, shining — the spikelets being 
smooth and shining ; or which is more likely, from siobh or 
siobhag, straw, — hence sioman, a rope made of straw or rushes ; 
the Greek name (Txoivo<i for the same reason). 

Scirpus, sometimes written sirpus (Freund), seems to be 
cognate with the Celtic cirs, cors, a bog-plant ; hence Welsh, 
corsfruyn, a bulrush (Gaelic, ciircais). Many plants of this 
genus were likewise formerly used for making ropes. (Cords, 
Latin, chorda; Welsh, cord ; Gaelic and Irish, corda ; Spanish, 
ciierda^ — all derived from cors.^ 

S. maritimus — Sea-scirpus. Gaelic and Irish : brobh. Name 
from bro, bra, or bradh, a quern, a hand-mill. The roots are 
large and very nutritious for cattle, and in times of scarcity 
were ground down in the muileann bradh (French, moulin a 
bras), to make meal ; bracan, broth, — hence bracha, malt, be- 
cause prepared by manual labour (Greek, ySpaxtW ; Latin, 
brachiwn ; Gaelic, braic ; French, bras, the arm). 

S. caespitosus — Tufted scirpus, deer's hair, heath club-rush. 
Gaelic : ciob, cipe, and c\ob cheann dubh {ciob = x^y^os j Latin, 
cibi^s, food ; ceauu, head ; dub/t, black). 

* ' Le'n cridheacha' meara 
Le bainne na cioba. ' — M'Intyre. 

This is the principal food of cattle and sheep in the Highlands 
in March, and till the end of May. Cruach luachair, — cruach, a 
heap, a pile, a hill, and luachair, a rush. 

The badge of the Clan M'Kenzie. 

S. lacustris — Bulrush, lake-scirpus. Gaelic : gobhal luachair, 
the forked rush {gobhal, a fork), from the forked or branched 
appearance of the cymes appearing from the top of tall, terete 
(or nearly so), leafless stems. When this tall stem is cut, it 
goes by the name of cuilc^ a cane, and is used to bottom chairs. 
Irish : gibiun, — gib or giob, rough, and aoi7i, a rush. Gaelic and 
Irish, bhg mhuine, boigean, bog luachair, bhg,^ a marsh, a fen, 
swampy ground, to bob, to wag, — names indicating its habitat, 

^ " Mu lochan nan cuilc a tha ruadh." — Tighmora. 

2 Bbg and bblg are frequently interchanged : bblg luachair, prominent or 
massy rush ; from bblg, gen. builg, comes bul in bulrush. 



86 

also its top-heavy appearance, causing it to have a bobbing or 
wagging motion. Curcais {airach, a marsh, a fen) is more a 
generic term, and equals scirpus. Min-fheiir, a bulrush. (See 
Festuca ovina.) 

Badge of Clan M'Kay. 

Eriophorum (from tpiov, wool, and cf>ipiu, to bear). — Its seeds 
are covered with a woolly substance — hence it is called cotton- 
grass. 

E. vaginatum and E. polystachyon — Cotton-sedge. Scotch : 
cafs-tail. Gaelic and Irish : canach. Irish : cona (from can^ 
white), from its hypogynous bristles forming dense tufts of white 
cottony down, making the plant very conspicuous in peaty bogs. 
The canach in its purity and whiteness formed the object of 
comparison in Gaelic poetry for purity, fair complexion, &c., 
especially in love-songs : — 

" Do chneas mar an canach 
Co cheanalta thla." — M'Intyre. 

Thy skin white as the cotton-grass 
So tender and gentle. 

" Bu ghile na'n cattach a cruth."— OssiAN. 

Her form was fairer than the down of Cana, 

In Ossian the plant is also called caoin chean?i {caoin^ soft), the 
soft heads, fair heads. 

** Ghlac mi'n caoin cheanna sa' bheinn 
'Siad ag aomadh mu shruthaibh thall 
Fo charnaibh, bu diomhaire gaoth."— Tighmora. 

I seized cotton-grasses on the hill, 

As they waved by their seci-et streams, 

In places sheltered from the wind. 

This is only the plural form of the name canach — caineichean. 

^^ Na caineichean aluinn an t-shleibh." — M'Leod. 

O'Reilly gives the name sgathog fladhain to E. polystachyon, — 
sgath, a tail, and og (dim. termination), the little tail, — to distin- 
guish it from vaginatum, which is larger. Scotch : cafs-tail. 

Badge of Clan Sutherland. 

Carex (likely from Welsh, cors ; Ga.elic,carrf a bog, a marsh, 
or fenny ground). — This numerous family of plants grows most- 
ly in such situations. Seisg, sedge ; gallsheilisdear, also seilisdear 
amh (for Seilisdear, see Iris), — amh, raw — the raw sedge. 
Welsh : hesg, Seasg, barren, unfruitful. Except C. rigida, they 



87 

are scarcely touched by cattle. According to Dr Hooker, carex 
is derived from Greek, Kdptji^ from the cutthig foliage. The 
Sanscrit root is kar^ to cut, shear, divide. 

0. vulgaris, and many of the other large species — Common 
sedge. Gaelic : gainnisg (Stewart), — gain?ie, a sedge, reed, 
cane, arrow ; and seasg. 

Gramine^e. 

Agrostis alba— Fiorin-grass. Gaelic and Irish : fioran, feor- 
tne, or Jio?'-t/ian ; derived from Gaelic : feur, feoh% grass, herb- 
age, fodder. Latin: vireo, I grow green, — ver, spring ; fcenum, 
fodder — r and ;/ being interchangeable. This name is applied 
in the dictionaries to the common couch-grass, because, like it, 
it retains a long time its vital power, and propagates itself by 
extending its roots. 

Alopecurus — Foxtail-grass. Gaelic : fiteag^—jit^ food, refresh- 
ment. Latin : vita. 

A. geniculatus. — Gaelic : fiteag cha7n, — 

"A chuiseag dheireach's 7vc\.fhiteag chants — M'Intyre. 

cam^ bent, from the knee-like bend in the stalk. A valuable 
grass for hay and pasture. 

Arundo Phragmites — Reed-grass. Gaelic : seasgan; seasg, a 
reed. Lachan^ the common reed. Irish : cruisgiornach, a-uisigh^ 
music, song; from its stem reeds for pipes were manufactured. 
Welsh : caum wellt, cane-grass ; qwellt, grass. 

Anthoxanthum odoratum — Sweet meadow-grass. Gaelic : 
mislea?i, from milis^ sweet. 

'"San canach min geal 's mislean ann." — M'Intyre. 
The soft white cotton-grass and the sweet grass are there. 

Borrach [borradh, scent, smell). — In some places this name is 
given to the Nardus stricta^ which see. This is the grass that 
gives the peculiar smell to meadow hay. Though common in 
meadows, it grows nearly to the top of the Grampians (3400 
feet) ; hence the names are given as " a species of mountain 
grass " in some dictionaries. 

Milium effasum — Millet -grass. Gaelic: mileid. Welsh: 
viiled. The name derived from the true millet misapplied. Mil- 
let is translated in the Gaelic Bible mea?ibh pheasair, small peas 
(see Faba vulgaris). — Ezekiel iv. 9. 

Phleum pratense — Timothy grass, cat's-tail grass. Gaelic : 
bodafi, a little tail ; the same name for Typha atigicstifolia. " This 



88 

grass was introduced from New York and Carolina in 1780 by 
Timothy Hanson." — Loudon. It seems to have been unknown 
in the Hebrides and the Highlands before that date ; for Dr 
Walker ('Rural Econ. Hebrides,' ii. 27) says, "that it maybe 
introduced into the Highlands with good effect." Yet Lightfoot 
(1777) mentions it as " by the waysides, and in pastures, but not 
common." Bodan is also applied to P. arenariujn and P. alpinum. 

Lepturus filiformis. — Gaelic : durfheurfairge^ sea hard grass. 
Dur, hard (Latin, durus) ; few% grass ; /<z/r^, the sea, ocean, 
wave. It grows all round Ireland, as well as in England and 
South Scotland. Irish : durfher fairge (O'Reilly). 

Calamagrostis. — Etym. KdX.aiJLo<;, and dypoo-rt?, reed-grass. 

C. Epigejos — Wood small reed. Cuilc fheur, cane -grass; 
gairwe ^ cane. Lachnn coille, wood-rush. 

Ammophiia arenaria (or Psamma arenaria) — Sea-maram ; sea- 
matweed. Gaelic and Irish : imih'i?ieach^ from viuir (Latin 7fiare, 
the sea), the ocean. It is extensively propagated to bind the sand 
on the sea shore ; generally called muran on west coast. The 
same name is applied to the carrot, an alteration of moron — a 
plant lyith large tapering roots. M'Intyre alludes to " miiran 
brlghar" but whether he refers to the carrot or to this grass is 
a matter of controversy. Not being a seaside Highlander, he 
was more likely to know the carrot, wild and cultivated, far 
better than this seaside grass, and associating it with groundsel 
(a plant which usually grows rather too abundantly, wherever 
carrots are sown), makes it a certainty that he had not the *' sea- 
maram " in his mind. (See Daiicus carota.) 

Avena sativa — Oats. Gaelic and Irish : coin. Welsh : 
ceirch. Armoric : querch. Probably from the Sanskrit karc, to 
crush. 

" Is fhearr siol caol coircc fhaotuinn a droch fhearann na' bhi falamh." 
Better small oats than nothing out of bad land. 

The small variety, A. nuda, the naked or hill oat, when ripe, 
drops the grain from the husk ; it was therefore more generally 
cultivated two centuries ago. It was made into meal by dry- 
ing it on the hearth, and bruising it in a stone - mortar, the 
^'' muileann brddh^' — hand-mill or quern. Many of them may 
still be seen about Highland and Irish cottages. 

A. fatua and pratensis — Wild oats. Gaelic : coirc fiadhain, 
wild oats ; coii'C dub/i, black oats. Also applied to the Brome 
grasses. 



89 

" Do'n t-siol chruithneachd, chuireadh gu tiugh ; 
Cha b' e' n fhiteag, no' n coirc diibh^ — M 'Donald. 

When oats become black with blight, the name coirc djibh is 
applied, but especially to the variety called Avena strigosa. 

Hordeum distichon — Barley ; the kind which is in common 
cultivation. (" Barley " comes from Celtic bar^ bread, now 
obsolete in Gaelic, but still retained in Welsh — hence barn^ 
and by the change of the vowel, beer.) Gaelic and Irish : eoma^ 
or?ia. Irish : earfi (perhaps from Latin, horreo^ to bristle ; 
Gaelic, or^ a beard) — O'Reilly. " The bearded or bristly bar- 
ley ; " " orog^'^ a sheaf of corn. Hordeum, sometimes written 
ordeum (Freund), is from the same root. " It was cultivated 
by the Romans for horses, and also for the army ; and gladia- 
tors in training were fed with it, and hence called hordiarii." 
It is still used largely in the Highlands for bread, but was for- 
merly made into " crowdie," properly corrody, from Low Latin, 
corrodiiun, a worry. 

" Fuarag eorn ann' sail mo bhroge, 
Biadli a b' f hearr a f huir mi riamh. " 

Barley-crowdie in my shoe, 
The sweetest food I ever knew. 

Irish : cameog, oats and barley — from cain (Greek, Krjvao^ ; Latin, 
ce?isus), rent, tribute. Rents were frequently paid in " kind," 
instead of in money. 

Secale cereale — Common rye. Gaelic and Irish : seagall. 
Greek : o-exaXr]. Armoric : sega/. French : se/g/e. 
" An cruithneach agus an seagall." — Exodus. 
The wheat and the rye. 
Welsh : r/iyg, rye. 

Molinia cserulea — Purple melic- grass. Gaelic: bunglds 
(M'Donald), pimglds. {Bun, a root, a stack ; glas, blue.) The 
fishermen round the west coast and in Skye make ropes for their 
nets of this grass, which they find by experience will bear the 
water well without rotting. Irish : mealoigfer corcuir (O'Reilly), 
— mealoig ~ ?nelic (from 7?iel, honey), the pith is like honey; 
fer or feur, grass ; corcuir, crimson or purplish. In some 
parts of the Highlands the plant is called braba?i (Stewart.) 

Glyceria. — From Greek, yXvKvs, sweet, in allusion to the 
foliage. 

G. fluitans — Floating sweet grass. Milsean nisge, inillteach 
uisge, — perhaps from viillse, sweetness. Horses, cattle, and 
swine are fond of this grass, which only grows in watery places. 



90 

Trout {Sabno fario) eat the seeds greedily. The name iniUteach 
is frequently applied to grass generally as well as to Triglochin 
pahistre (which see). Feur uisge, water-grass. 

Briza. — Quaking-grass. Gaelic and Irish : cojiaji, — conan, a 
hound, a hero, a rabbit, — may possibly be named after the cele- 
brated " Coiian Maol" who was known among the Feine for his 
thoughtless impetuosity. He is called " Aimlisg na Feimie,'' the 
mischief of the Fenians. This grass is also called feur g07iach, 
hungry, starving grass. "A weakness, the result of sudden 
hunger, said to come on persons during a long journey or in 
particular places, in consequence of treading on the fairy grass " 
— (Irish Superstitions). Feur sithein slthe, — literally, a blast of 
wind; a phantom, a fairy. The oldest authority in which this 
word stt/ie occurs is Tirechan's * Annotations on the Life of St 
Patrick,' in the Book of Armagh, and is translated " Dei terreni," 
or gods of the earth. Crith f/ihir, quaking-grass. Griglea7in 
(in Breadalbane), that which is in a cluster, a festoon ; the 
Gaelic name given to the constellation Pleiades. 

Cynosurus. — Etym. kvwv, a dog, and oipa, a tail. 

C. cristatus — Crested dog's-tail. Gaelic : gomear^ or go'm 
fJieur^ and sometimes conan (from coin, dogs, and feur, grass). 
Irish : feur choinein, dog's grass. 

Festuca. — Gaelic : feisd. Irish : feiste. Latin : fastus and 
festus. French : feste, now fete. English : feast, as applied to 
grass, good pasture, or food for cattle. 

F. ovina — Sheep's fescue - grass. Gaelic and Irish: feur 

chaorach, 

" Mm-Pieur chaorach. " — M'Intyre. 

Soft sheep grass. 

This grass has fine sweet foliage, well adapted for feeding sheep 
and for producing good mutton — hence the name. But Sir 
H. Davy has proved it to be less nutritious than was formerly 
supposed. Mhifheur (Armstrong), is applied to any soft grass 
— as Holcus mollis — to a flag, a bulrush; as ^^ mhifheur gun 
uisge" a bulrush without water (in Job). 

Triticum, according to Varro, was so named from the grain 
being originally ground down. Latin : tritus, occurring only in 
the ablative {tero). Greek : retpw, to rub, bruise, grind. 

T. sestivum (and other varieties) — Wheat. Gaelic and Irish : 
cruithneachd — cruineachd. This name seems to be associated 
with the Cruithne, a tribe or tribes who, according to tradition, 
came from Lochlan to Erin, and from thence to Alban, where 



9^ 

they founded a kingdom which lasted down till the seventh 
century. Another old name for wheat — hreothan^ may simi- 
larly be connected with another ancient tribe, " Clatina Brcogan. 
They occupied the territory where Ptolemy in the second cen- 
tury places an offshoot of British Brigantes." — Skene. Were 
these tribes so called in consequence of cultivating and using 
wheat ? or was it so called from those tribal names ? are ques- 
tions that are difficult to answer. It seems at least probable 
that they were among the first cultivators of wheat in Britain 
and Ireland. Breotkan, that which is bruised ; the same in 
meaning as triticum. Other forms occur, as brachtan} being 
bruised or ground by hand in the " inuileann bradh" the quern ; 
sometimes spelled breachtaii. Mann, wheat, food. Fiormanft, 
— -fior, genuine, and viaim, a name given to a variety called 
French wheat. Tuirea?m, perhaps from tutre, good, excellent. 
The flour of wheat is universally allowed to make the best bread 
in the world. Ronihan, Roman or French wheat ; " branks." 

T. repens — Couch, twitch. Scotch : dog-g?'ass, quickens, &c. 
Gaelic : feur a)-phuint (M'Kenzie), the grass with points or 
articulations. Every joint of the root, however small, having the 
principle of life in it, and throwing out shoots when left in the 
ground, causing great annoyance to farmers. (From the root 
punc or piing ; Latin, pmutum, a point.) Goin-fheur, dogs- 
grass ; or goin, a wound, hurt, twitch. According to Rev. Mr 
Stewart, Nether Lochaber, this name is also given to Cynosurus. 
Fioihran, the detestable. It is one of the worst weeds in 
arable lands on account of the propagating power of the roots. 
Briiim fheur, flatulent grass. Probably only a term of con- 
tempt. 

T. junceum — Sea-wheat grass. Gaelic: glas f/ieur, the pale 
green grass ; a seaside grass. It helps, with other species, to 
bind the sand. 

Lolium perenne and temulentum — Darnell, rye -grass. 
Gaelic : breoillean. Irish : breallan {breall or breallach, knotty), 
from the knotty appearances of the spikes, or from its medicinal 
virtues in curing glandular diseases. "And being used with 
quick brimstone and vinegar it dissolveth knots and kernels, 

^ Latin : brace or brance. Gallic, of a- particularly white kind of corn. 
According to Hardouin, ble blaitc Dauphine, Triticutn Hibernum, Linn., var. 
Granis albis. Lat. , sandala. 

" Galliae quoque suum genus farris dedere : quod illie brance vocant apud 
nos sandalum nitidissimi grani."— Pliny, i8, 7. 



92 

and breaketh those that are hard to be dissolved " — Culpepper. 
Dithean^ darnel ; perhaps from dtth^ want, poverty. It may be 
so named from its growing on poor sterile soil, which it is said 
to improve. *' They have lately sown ray-grass to improve cold, 
clayey soil" — Dr Platt, 1677. Roille. Irish: raid hleadh, ixom 
raidhe, a ray — hence the old English name ray-gi'ass. French : 
ivraie, darnel. Welsh : efr — perhaps alterations of the French 
ivre, drunk. The seeds of darnel, when mixed with meal, cause 
intoxication, and are believed to produce vertigo in sheep — the 
disease that maketh them reel ; and for this reason the grass is 
often called sturda?i, from sturd, — hence Scotch sturdy grass. 
Siobhach, from siobhas, rage, fury, madness. " It is a malicious 
plant of sullen Saturn : as it is not without some vices, so it 
hath also many virtues " — Culpepper. Cuiseach (M 'Alpine), 
rye-grass. Ruintealas (O'Reilly), the loosening, aperient, or 
purgative grass — from ruinnec^ grass, and tea/ach, loosening. 

Nardus stricta — Mat - grass, moor - grass. Gaelic : beitean 
(perhaps from beithe), was refused. Cattle refuse to eat it. It 
remains in consequence in dense tufts, till it is scorched by 
early frosts. In this condition it is frequently burned, in order 
to destroy it. Borrach (in some places), parching. Carran 
(Stewart), a name given also to Spergula arvensis. To this 
grass and other rough species, as rushes, sedges, &c., the name 
riasg is given. 

" Cuiseagan-a's riasg 

Chinneas air an t'sliabh." — M'Intyre. 

Aira flexuosa — Waved hair-grass. Gaelic : moifi-fheur, peat- 
grass. It grows generally in peaty soil. 

CRYPTOGAMIA. 

FiLICES. 

Filices — Ferns. Gaelic : rameach, roineach. Irish : raith^ 
raithne, raithneach ; also, reaihnach. Welsh : rhedyii. Perhaps 
formed from reath^ a revolution or turning about, or rat, motion, 
from the circinate evolution of the young fronds — an essential 
characteristic of ferns. 

Polypodium vulgare — Clock - reathneach (Armstrong), the 
stone-fern ; dock, a stone. It is common on stone-walls, stones, 
and old stems of trees. Ceis-chra7iii. Irish : ceis chrainn, — 
cis, a tax, tribute, and cra?in, a tree, because it draws the sub- 
stance from the trees ; or from the crosier-like development of 
the fronds, like a shepherd's crook, " cis-ceanJ' Sgcam/i na dock. 



93 

Sgeamh means reproach, and sgianik or sgcimh^ beauty, orna- 
ment ; '' 7ia clock" bf the stones. The second idea seems, at 
least in modern times, to be more appropriate than the first, 
especially as the term was applied to the really beautiful oak- 
fern. 

** Mu chinneas luibhean 'us an sgeimhy 
How the flowers and the ferns grow. 

Reidh raineach, — reidh, smooth, plain. Raineach nan crag, the 
rock-fern. Mearlag (in Lochaber), perhaps from mear or 
meur, a finger, from a fancied resemblance of the pinnules to 
fingers. 

P. Dryopteris — Oak-fern. Gaelic and Irish : sgeamh dkaraich 
(O'Reilly), the oak-fern. No Gaelic name is recorded for the 
beech-fern {P. Phegopteris). 

Blechnum spicant — Hard fern. The only Gaelic name sup- 
plied for this fern is " an raineach chruaidh,'^ hard fern. It is 
impossible to say whether this is a translation or not. Being a 
conspicuous and well-defined fern, it must have had a Gaelic 
name. 

Cystopteris fragilis — Bladder-fern. Gaelic : friodh raineach, 
or frioth fhraiiieach, — ^^frioth,'* small, slender. The tufts are 
usually under a foot long ; stalks very slender. 

Polystichum aculeatum, lobatum, and angulare — Gaelic : 
tbhig (Rev. A. Stewart), the name by which the shield-ferns 
are known in the West Highlands. This name may have ref- 
erence to the medicinal drinks formerly made from the pow- 
dered roots being taken in water as a specific for worms (see 
Z. filix-mas\ from ibh, a drink. French : ivre. Latin : ebriiis. 

P. Lonchitis — Holly fern. Gaelic : raineach-chuilinn (Stewart), 
holly fern, known by that name in Lome ; also colg raineach, 
in Breadalbane and elsewhere. For cuileaiin and colg, see Ilex 
aquifolium. 

Lastrea Oreopteris — Sweet mountain fern. Gaelic : crim- 
raijieach (Stewart). Most likely from creini, a scar, the stalks 
being covered with brown scarious scales. In some places the 
name/^//(? raineach is given, ixovcs. faile, a scent, a smell. This 
species may be easily distinguished by the minute glandular 
dots on the under side of the fronds, from which a fragrant 
smell is imparted when the plant is bruised. 

L. filix-mas — Male fern. Gaelic and Irish : marc raineach, 
horsfe-fern. Marc. Welsh : march. Old High German : jnarah, 



94 

a horse. This fern has been celebrated from time immemorial 
as a specific for worms ; the powdered roots, taken in water, 
were considered an excellent remedy. Irish : raineach-inadra^ 
dog-fern. 

L. spinulosa, and the ahied species dilatata and F(B?nsecn, are 
known by the name raiiieach nan rodainn^ from Latin, rodo. 
Sanscrit : rad^ to break up, split, gnaw, — the rat's fern, in Mor- 
ven. Mull, and Lewis. *' Dr Hooker is mistaken as to the 
range of this fern, as it is extremely abundant here, at least in 
the form oi dilatata'' — (Lewis Correspondent) .^ The name rat's 
fern, from its commonness in holes, and the haunts of rats. 

Athyriumfilix-foemina— Lady-fern. Gaelic and Irish: raineach 
Mhuire, Mary's fern, — Muire, the Virgin Mary, Our Lady ; fre- 
quently occurring in plant-names in all Christian countries. 

Asplenium. — From Greek : a, privative, and (nrXrjv, the 
spleen. 

A. Trichomanes — Black spleenwort. Gaelic and Irish : di}d/i 
chasach, dark-stemmed. Lus na seilg, from sealg, the spleen. 
This plant was formerly held to be a sovereign remedy for all 
diseases of this organ, and to be so powerful as even to de- 
stroy it if employed in excess. Lus a chorrain. Urthalmhan 
(O'Reilly), — ur, green, and talamh^ the earth. As diibh chasach 
is the common name for Trichomanes — probably ?//- thalmhan 
was applied to A. viride. Failtean Jionn, see A. capilltis- 
Veneris. 

A. Ruta-muraria — Rue fern. Gaelic : ruehhallaidh, wall-rue. 

A. Adian turn- nigrum — Gaelic : an raiiieach uaijie, the green 
fern. Irish : craobh mac fiadh (O'Reilly), — craobh, a tree, a plant, 
and miicfiadh^ wild pig or boar. 

Scolopendrium vulgare — Hart's- tongue fern. Gaelic : creamh 
mac fiadh, or in Irish, creafnh fiam muc fiadh. Wild boar's wort, 
a name also given to Asparagus. 

Pteris aquilina — Common brake. Gaelic : an raineach mhor, 
the large fern. Raith (see Polypodium). The brake is used for 
various purposes by the Gaels, such as for thatching cottages ; 

^ My well-informed correspondent also remarks : '* I may mention one 
or two other plants, regarding which Ur Hooker's information is slightly 
out. His Salix repens is very common here and in Caithness, though absent 
in at least some parts further south. Utrkulai-ia mino?' can easily be found 
in quantities near the Butt of Lewis ; and Scutellaria minor, which he allows 
no further than Dumbarton, grows equally far north, although all I am 
aware of could be covered by a table-cloth. Another interesting plant, 
Eryngium maritimum, grows in a single sandy bay on our west coast." 



95 

and beds were also made of it. It is esteemed a good remedy 
for rickets in children, and for curing worms. 

Adiantum capillus- Veneris— Maiden-hair fern. Gaelic : fail- 
teaiifihm (Armstrong), from/?//, hair, Sindjiouft, fair, resplendent. 
This fern is only known in the Highlands by cultivation. This 
name is frequently given to Trichomanes {diibh chasach) impro- 
perly. 

Ophioglossum — From Greek : o</>i?, a serpent, and yXcoo-o-ry, a 
tongue. The little fertile stalk springing straight out of the 
grass may not inaptly be compared to a snake's tongue. 

0. vulgatum — Adder's tongue. Liis na iiathmith (M'Kenzie), 
the serpent's weed. Teanga a' nathrach^ the adder's tongue. 
Welsh : tafad y neidr, adder's tongue. In the Western High- 
lands, beasan or feas an (Stewart). 

Osmunda — Osmunder, in Northern mythology, was one of the 
sons of Thor (Gaelic : Tordan, the thunderer, the Jove of the 
Celts ; OS in Celtic, over, above, upon, and munata, a champion, 
in Irish), — said to have received the name on account of its po- 
tential qualities in medicine. 

0. regalis — Royal fern. Gaelic: raineach riog/iatl, kingly 
fern ; righ raineach, royal fern. In Ireland it is called bog- 
onion. 

Botrychium lunaria — Moonwort. Gaelic : limn lus, moon- 
wort. Welsh: y lleiiadlys, — lleiiad, moon. "Z//^;/, the moon, 
seems a contraction of luathan, the swift planet" — Arm- 
strong. But rather from Sanscrit : luach, light. Latin : luna. 
French : lune. Deur lus and dealt Ins (Stewart), — deur, a tear, 
a drop of any fluid, and dealt, dew. This plant was held in 
superstitious reverence among Celtic and other nations. Horses 
were said to lose their shoes where it grew. *' On Sliabh Riab- 
hach Mountain no horse can keep its shoes ; and to this day it 
is said that on Lord Dunsany's Irish property there is a field 
where it is supposed all live stock lose their nails if pastured 
there." " A Limerick story refers to a man in Clonmel jail who 
could open all the locks by means of this plant." The same 
old superstition still lingers in the Highlands — 

There is an herb, some say whose virtue's such 
It in the pasture, only with a touch, 
Unshoes the new-shod steed. 

''On White-Down, in Devonshire, near Tiverton, there was 
found thirty horse-shoes pulled off from the feet of the Earl of 
Essex, his horses being there drawn up into a body, many of 



96 

them being but newly shod, and no reason known, which caused 
much admiration ; and the herb described usually grows upon 
heaths." — Culpepper. 

Ferns frequently formed components in charms. 

" Faigh naoi gasan rainaich 
Air an gearradh, le tuaigh, 
A's tri chnaimhean seann-duine 

Air an tarruinn a uaigh," &c. — M'Intyre. 

Get nine branches of ferns 

Cut with an axe, 
And three old man's bones 

Pulled from the grave. 

''Fern seeds were looked upon as magical, and must be 
gathered on Midsummer eve." — Scottish and Irish Superstition. 

Lycopodiace^.. 

Lycopodium, from A-vVo?, a wolf, and ttol-?, a foot, from a fan- 
cied resemblance to a wolf's foot. 

L. Selago — Fir club-moss. Gaelic : ga?'bhag an sleibhe, the 
rough one of the hill. " The Highlanders make use of this 
plant instead of alum to fix the colours in dying. They also 
take an infusion of it as an emetic and cathartic ; but it operates 
violently, and, unless taken in a small dose, brings on giddiness 
and convulsions." — Lightfoot. According to De Theis, "Se- 
lago " is derived from the Celtic, sel {seaHadk), sight, and/ar// 
{he). Greek : tao-t?, a remedy, being useful for complaints in 
the eyes. 

Badge of Clan M'Rae. 

L. clavatum, annotinum, and the rest of this family are called 
I us bhalgairCj the fox-weed. 

EgUISETACEiE. 

Equisetum, from eqinis, a horse, and seta, hair, in allusion to 
the fine hair-like branches of the species. Those plants of this 
order growing in watery places are called in Gaelic and Irish, 
clois, clouisge, the names given \.o fliiviatile, palustre, ramosum; 
and those flourishing in drier places, earbiiiU-each, horse-tail. 
Clois seems a contraction of do-uisge (O'Reilly), — do, a nail-pen 
or peg, perhaps suggested by the appearance of the fruiting 
stems, and uisge, water. 

E. hyemale — Dutch rushes, shave-grass. Gaelic : a bhiorag, 
— b\or, a pointed small stick, anything sharp or prickly. Or 
water {see Appendix). This species was at one time extensively 



97 

used for polishing wood and metal, a quality arising from the 
cuticle abounding in siliceous cells — hence the use made of the 
plant for scouring pewter and wooden things in the kitchen. 
A large quantity used to be imported from Holland, hence 
the name " Dutch rushes." Irish : gadkar, from gad^ a withe, 
a twig. Liobhag, from liob/i, smooth, polish. It grows in marshy 
places and standing water. Cuiridm (O'Reilly), because grow- 
ing on marshy ground. 

Bryace^e. 

Gaelic and Irish : coinneach^ caomeach^ from caoin^ soft, lowly, 

&c. The principal economic use of moss to the ancient Gaels 

was in making bed-stuffs, just as the Laplanders use it to this day. 

** Tri coilceadha na Feinne, barr gheal chrann, coinneach, 'usur luachair. " 

The three Fenian bed-stuffs — fresh tree-tops, moss, and fresh rushes. 

Welsh : mwswg, moss. 

Sphagnum — Bog-moss. Gaelic : nwinteach Hath {moin, peat, and 
Hath, grey). From its roots and decayed stalks peat is formed. 
Fio7inlach^ from Jibnn, white. It covers wide patches of bog, and 
when full grown it is sometimes almost white ; occasionally the 
plant has a reddish hue {coinneach dhearg, red moss). Martin re- 
fers to it in his ' Western Islands : ' " When they are in any way 
fatigued by travel or other ways, they fail not to bathe their feet 
in warm water wherein red moss has been boiled, and rub them 
with it on going to bed." This seems to be the only moss 
having a specific name in Gaelic, the rest going by the generic 
term coinneach. 

** Coinich nine mu 'n iomall, 
A's imadach seorsa." — M'Intyre. 
Green moss around the edges, 
Many are the kinds. 

Marchantiace^ and Lichenes. 

Marchantia polymorpha — Liverwort. Gaelic : His an ainean, 
the liverwort. Irish : ciiisle aibheach. Welsh : Uysiar afu — afu^ 
the liver. (Names derived from its medicinal effects on the liver.) 
Irish : duilleog na cn}ith?ieachta, the leaf of (many) shapes or 
forms. Criith^ form, shape, synonymous with Greek ''^ poly- 
morpha.^^ 

Peltidea canina — The dog - lichen. Gaelic : His ghonaich 
(from goin, wound; ghineach, agonising). This plant was for- 
merly used for curing distemper and hydrophobia in dogs. The 
name ^^ gear an ^ the herb dog's-ear," is given in the dictionaries. 

N 



98 

Probably this name was applied to this plant, meaning a com- 
plaint, a groan. Welsh : geraiii^ to squeak, to cry. 

Lecanora. — Etymology of this word uncertain (in Celtic, lech 
or leac, means a stone, a flag), Greek : \iOo%. 

L. tartarea — Cudbear. Gaelic and Irish : co7'car or cojrur, 
meaning purple, crimson. This lichen was extensively used to 
dye purple and crimson. It is first dried in the sun, then pul- 
verised and steeped, commonly in urine, and the vessel made 
air-tight. In this state it is suffered to remain for three weeks, 
when it is fit to be boiled in the yarn which it is to colour. In 
many Highland districts many of the peasants get their living 
by scraping off this lichen with an iron hoop, and sending it to 
the Glasgow market. M'Codrum alludes to the value of this 
and the next lichen in his line 

" Spreigh air mointicli, 
Or air chlachan." 
Cattle on the hills, 
Gold on the stones. 

Parmelia saxatilis and omphalodes — Stone and heath par- 
melia. Gaelic and Irish : crotal. These lichens are much used in 
the Highlands for dyeing a reddish brown colour, prepared like 
tartarea. And so much did the Highlanders believe in the 
mx\MQ^ oi crotal that, when they were to start on a journey, they 
sp^kled it on their hose, as they thought it saved their feet 
frbm getting inflamed during the journey. Welsh : ceii du^ black 
head, applied to the species Omphalodes. 

' Sticta pulmonacea {Fulmonan'a of Lightfoot) — Lungwort 
lichen. Scotch : hazelraiv. Gaelic and Irish : crotal coille 
{^^ coille^^ of the wood), upon the trunks of trees in shady 
woods. It was used among Celtic tribes as a cure for lung 
diseases, and is still used by Highland old women in their oint- 
ments and potions. 

According to Shaw, the term grim was applied as a general 
term for lichens growing on stones. Martin, in his description 
of his journey to Skye, refers to the sliperstition '' that the natives 
observe the decrease of the moon for scraping the scurf from 
the stones." The two useful lichens, corcur and crotal^ gave rise 
to t|ie suggestive proverb — 

" Is fhearr a' chlach gharbh air am faighear rud-eigin, na 'chlach mhin air 
nach feiighear dad idir." 

Better, the rough stone that yields something, than the smooth stone that 
yields nothing. 



99 



Fungi. 

Agaricus — The mushroom. Irish and Gaelic dicti^iries 
give agairg for mushroom. Welsh : ciillod. 

A. campestris— j5^/^ bhuachail {balg is an ancient Celtic 
word, and in most languages has the same signification — viz., 
a bag, wallet, pock, &c. (Greek, /3o\yvs; Latin, biilga ; Sax. 
beige ; Ger. bdlg), biiackail, a shepherd). Balg /osgai?m (losganti 
a frog, and in some places balgbhuachair^ — buachar^ dung), Leirin 
sugach. In Aberfeldy A. cainpestris is called bonaid bhtiidhli 
smachaiji (Dr McMillan). 

Boletus bovinus — Brown boletus. Gaelic and Irish : bonaid 
an losgamn, the toad's bonnet; and also applied to other 
species of this genus. 

Tuber cibarium— Truffle. Ballan losgainn, Dr M'Millan, 
from ball^ a ball, a tuber. These are subterraneous ball-like 
bodies, something like potatoes, found in beech-woods in Glen 
Lyon ; and probably applied to other species as well. 

Lycoperdon giganteum— The large fuz-ball or devil's snuff- 
box. Gaelic and Irish : beac^ beacan^ from beach^ a bee. This 
mushroom or puff-ball was used formerly (and is yet) for 
smothering bees ; it grows to a large size, sometimes even two 
or three feet in circumference. Trioman (O'Reilly). 

L. gemmatum — The puff-ball, fuz-ball. Gaelic and Irish: 
caoc/iag, from caoch (Latin, ccecus), blind, empty, blasting. It 
is a common idea that its dusty spores cause blindness. Balg 
stnicid, the smoke-bag ; balg seididh^ the puff-bag. Balg peiteach 
bocan^ or bochdan-bearrach {boc/idan, a hobgoblin, a sprite, and 
bearr, brief, short), and bonaid an losgaijui, are frequently applied 
to all the mushrooms, puff-balls, and the whole family of the 
larger fungi. 

Polyporus. — The various forms of cork -like fungi growing 
on trees are called caise (Irish), meaning cheese, and in Gaelic 
spuing or (Irish) spnijic, sponge, from their porous spongy 
character. 

P. fomentarius and betulinus — Soft tinder. Gaelic: cailleach 
spiitJige, the spongy old woman, — a corruption of the Irish 
caisleach spuine, soft, cheese-like sponge. It is much used still 
by Highland shepherds for making amadou or tinder, and for 
sharpening razors. 

Mucedo — Moulds. Gaelic : cloiniJi Hath, grey down. Mildew, 
niilcheo. 



Mushrooms bear a conspicuous part in Celtic mythology from 
their connection with the fairies, — they formed the tables for 
their merry feasts. Fairy rings {Marasmms oreades^ other species 
of Agartd) were unaccountable to our Celtic ancestors save 
by the agency of supernatural beings. 

Alg^. 

The generic names assigned to sea-weeds in Gaelic are : 
feamainn {/earn, a tail) ; trailleach (M'Alpine), (from traigh, 
shore, sands) ; barra-rochd {barr, a crop), roc. Greek : pw^. 
French : 7'oche, a rock. Welsh : gwyffion, sea-weed. French : 
varec, from Sanscrit, bharc, through the Danish vrag. All the 
olive - coloured sea -weeds go by the general name feamainn 
buidhe ; the dark- green, feamainn dubh ; and the red, feamainn 
derg. 

Fucus vesiculosus — Sea-ware, kelp-ware, black tang, lady- 
wrack. Gaelic : propach, sometimes prablach, tangled ; in some 
places grobach, grab, to dig, to grub. 

This fucus forms a considerable part of the winter supply of 
food for cattle, sheep, and deer. In the Hebrides cheeses are 
dried without salt, but are covered with the ashes of this plant, 
which abounds in salt. It was also used as a medicinal 
charm. *' If, after a fever, one chanced to be taken ill of a 
stitch, they (the inhabitants of Jura) take a quantity of lady- 
ivrack and red fog and boil them in water; the patients sit 
upon the vessel and receive the fume, which by experience they 
find effectual against the distemper." — Martin's 'Western 
Isles.' 

F. nodosus — Knobbed sea-weed. Gaelic : feamainn bholgainn, 
builgach, — bolg^ builg, a sack, a bag, from the vesicles that serve 
to buoy up the plant amidst the waves. Feamuinn buidhe, the 
yellow wrack. It is of an olive-green colour; the receptacles are 
yellow. 

F. serratus — Serrated sea-weed. G 2iQ\ic\ feamainn dubh, black 
wrack. Aon chasach, one-stemmed, applies to this plant when 
single in growth. 

F. canaliculatus — Channelled fucus. Gaelic : feamainn chir- 
ean {cir, a comb). This plant is a favourite food for cattle, 
and farmers give it to counteract the injurious effects of sapless 
food, such as old straw and hay. 

Laminaria digitata — Sea-girdles, tangle. Gaelic and Irish : 
stamh, slat-mhara, sea-wand. Duidhean, the stem, and liaghag 



lOI 



or leathagan, barr stamh^ and bragair, names given to the broad 
leaves on the top. Doire (in Skye), tangle. Though not so much 
used for food as formerly, it is still chewed by the Highlanders 
when tobacco becomes scarce. It was thought to be an effectual 
remedy against scorbutic and glandular diseases, even long before 
it was known to contain iodine. " A rod about four, six, or eight 
feet long, having at the end a blade slit into seven or eight 
pieces, and about a foot and a half long. I had an account of 
a young man who lost his appetite and had taken pills to no 
purpose, and being advised to boil the blade of the Alga, and 
drink the infusion boiled with butter, was restored to his former 
state of health " — Martin's 'Western Isles.' By far the most 
important use to which this plant and the other fuci have been 
put was the formation of kelp ; much employment and profit 
were derived from its manufacture : e.g.^ in i8i2,in the island of 
North Uist, the clear profits from the proceeds of kelp amounted 
to ;£"i4,ooo; but the alteration of the law regarding the duty 
on barilla reduced the value to almost a profitless remuneration 
of only ^3500. 

L. saccharina — Sweet tangle, sea-belt. Gaelic : smeartan 
{smear ^ greasy). The Rev. Mr M'Phail gives this name to "one 
of the red sea-weeds." Other correspondents give it to this 
plant. 

L. bulbosa — Sea furbelows, bulbous-rooted tangle. Gaelic : 
sgrothach. This name is doubtful {sgroth, pimples, postules). 

Alaria esculenta — Badderlocks, hen-ware (which may be a 
contraction of honey-ware, the name by which it is known in 
the Orkney Islands). Gaelic : mircean (one correspondent gives 
this name to ** a red sea-weed "), seemingly the same as the 
Norse name Maria kjerne, — Mart, Mary, and kjerne is our word 
kernel, and has a like meaning. In Gaelic and Irish diction- 
aries, miiirirean (Armstrong), mimHrin (O'Reilly), "a species 
of edible alga, with long stalks and long narrow leaves" — Shaw. 
In some parts of Ireland, Dr Drummond says, it is called mur- 
lins — probably a corruption of miiiririn, mutrichlinn, mtdrlinn 
(M'Alpine), (from niuir, mara, the sea). It is known in some 
parts of Ireland by the name sparain or sporain, purses, because 
the pinnated leaflets are thought to resemble the Highlander's 
sporan, Gruaigean (in Skye). 

Rhodymenia palmata — Dulse. Gaelic and Irish : dtnliasg, 
from duilie, a leaf, and uisge, water — the water-leaf The High- 
landers and Irish still use dtiiliasg^ and consider it wholesome 



I02 

when eaten fresh. Before tobacco became common, they used 
to prepare dulse by first washing it in .fresh water, then drying it 
in the sun : it was then rolled up fit for chewing. It was also 
used medicinally to promote perspiration. Fithreach, dulse. 
Duiliasg staimhe {staimh^ Laminaria digitatd). It grows fre- 
quently on the stems of that fucus. Duiliasg chlaiche — i.e.^ 
on the stones, the stone dulse. Duileasg is also given to 
Laure7itia pijinatifida, formerly eaten under the name of pepper 
dulse. 

Porphyra laciniata — Laver, sloke. Gaelic and Irish : sloucan, 
s/ockdan, from sioc, a pool or slake. Sldbhceoji (in Lewis), 
slabhagan (Shaw). Lightfoot mentions that "the inhabitants 
of the Western Islands gather it in the month of March, 
and after pounding and stewing it with a little water, eat it 
with pepper, vinegar, and butter ; others stew it with leeks and 
onions. 

Ulva latissima — Green ulva. Gaelic : g/asag, also applied to 
other edible sea-weeds. In some places in the Western High- 
lands the names given to laver are also given to this plant. 
Glasag, from glas, blue, or green. 

Palmella montana (Ag.)— Lightfoot describes, in his ' Flora 
Scotica,' a plant which he calls Ulva montana^ and gives it the 
Gaelic name duileasg ?iam beanfi — i.e., the mountain dulse. This 
plant is Gloeocapsa magma (Kutzing). Frotococcus magma (Bre- 
bisson, Alg. Fallais). Sorosporamonta}ia{Yi2i?,'-,2\\). Lightfoot was 
doubtless indebted to Martin (whose 'Western Isles' furnished 
him with many of his useful notes on the uses of plants among the 
Highlanders) for the information respecting such a plant. Martin 
describes it thus : " There is seen about the houses of Bernera, for 
the space of a mile, a soft substance resembling the sea-plant 
called slake [meaning here Ulva latissijna\ and grows very thick 
among the grass ; the natives say it is the product of a dry hot 
soil ; it grows likewise o?i. the tops of several hills in the island of 
Harris." "It abounds in all mountainous regions as a spread- 
ing crustaceous thing on damp rocks, usually blackish-lookiug ; 
but where it is thin the purplish nucleus shines through, giving 
it a brighter aspect." — Roy. 

Chondrus crispus — Irish moss, known in the Western High- 
lands by the Irish name an carraceen, as the chief supply used to 
come from Carrageen in Ireland. At one time it was in much 
repute, for from it was manufactured a gelatinous easily digested 
food for invalids, which used to sell for 2s. -Cd. per lb. Mathair 



I03 

ail duileasf^, the mother of tlie dulse, as if the dulse had sjirung 
from it. 

Corallina officinalis. — Gaelic : coireall (M'Alpine). Latin : 
corallium, coral. Linean. It was used as a vermifuge. 

Polysiphonia fastigiata. A tuft of this sea-weed was sent to 
me with the Gaelic name Fraoch f?idra, sea -heather, written 
thereon. 

Hemanthalia lorea. — The cup-shaped frond from which the 
long thongs spring is called aiotnlach, or iomleach {iomleag^ the 
navel), from the resemblance of the cup-shaped disc to the 
navel. Dr Neill mentions that in the north of Scotland a kind 
of sauce for fish or fowl, resembling ketchup, is made from the 
cup-like or fungus-like fronds of this sea-weed. 

Halydris siliquosa. — Gaelic: roineach mhara, the sea -fern. 
(In the Isle of Skye.) 

Chorda filum — Sea-laces. In Shetland, Lucky Minny's lines ; 
Ayrshire, dead men's ropes. Gaelic : gille mu lea?m (or mu 
Hon), — gille, a young man, a servant; Hon, a net. Lightfoot 
mentions that the stalks acquire such toughness as to be used 
for fishing lines, and they were probably also used in the manu- 
facture of nets. At all events it is a great obstacle when trawl- 
ing with nets, as it forms extensive sea-meadows of long cords 
floating in every direction. In some parts langadair is given to 
a *' sea-weed, by far the longest one." This one is frequently 
from twenty to forty feet in length. 

Sargassum vulgare (or bacciferum) — Sea-grapes. Gaelic : iiir- 
usgar (sometimes written triisgar, from trus, gather), from tilrus, 
a journey. This weed is frequently washed by the Gulf Stream 
across the great Atlantic, with beans, nuts, and seeds, and cast 
upon the western shores. These are carefully gathered, preserv- 
ed, and often worn as charms. They are called uibhean s\thei?i, 
fairy eggs, and it is believed that they will ward off evil-disposed 
fairies. The nuts are called cnothan-spuinge, and most frequently 
are Dolichas urens and Mimosa scandens. To Callithainnioii 
Plocamiutn, &c., and various small red sea- weeds, such as adorn 
ladies' albums, the Gaelic name smocan is applied. 

Confervae, such as Enteromorpha and Cladophora. Gaelic 
and Irish : lianach or linnearach {linne, a pool). Martin de- 
scribes a plant under the name of linarich — " a very thin, small, 
green plant, about eight, ten, or twelve inches in length ; it grows 
on stones, shells, and on the bare sands. This plant is applied 
plasterwise to the forehead and temples to procure sleep for 



I04 

such as have a fever, and they say it is effectual for the purpose. '^ 
— Martin's ' Hebrides.' Barraig tiaine, the green scum on 
stagnant water. Feuruisge, water-grass. Lochan. Griobhars- 
gaich, the green scum on water. 

*' Tlia uisge sriith na dige 

Na shriithladh diibh gun sioladh 
Le barraig uaine, liogh ghlas, 

Gu mi bhlasda grannd, 
Feur lochan is tachair 

An cinn an duileag bhaite." — M'Intyre. 

The water in its channel flows, 

A dirty stagnant stream, 
And algae green, like filthy cream, 

Its surface only shows. 
With water-grass, a choking mass, 

The water-lily grows. 



A 1^ P Ii N D I X 



ADDITIONAL GAELIC NAMES. 

These names were either unintentionally omitted, or did not 
come under my observation until too late for insertion in their 
proper botanical order. 

Airgiod luachra {Spirea ulinaria) — Meadow-sweet, meaning 
the silvery rush. Ai?-giod. Latin : ai'gentum. 

Amharag {Sinapis arvensis) — Cherlock. From the root amh, 
raw or pungent, and probably corrupted into ^'- Marag^' bhiiidhe 
(page 7); also in Cochlearia officbialis. A'viaraich (page 5), 
for amharaich^ from the same root, on account of the pungent 
taste of both plants. 
. Barr a-bhrigean {Potentilla anserina) — Silverweed. 

Bath ros i^Rosmarimis officinalis) — Rosemary. From bath, the 
sea ; and ros, a rose. 

Bearnan bearnach {Taraxacum dens-leonis) — Dandelion. 

Bearnan bealtine {Caltha palustris) — Marsh-marigold. 

Billeog an spuinc {Tussiiago farfara) — Coltsfoot (page 41). 

Biodh an 't sionaidh {Sedtim anglictcm). i^Sionaidh, a prince, 
a lord, chief; biodh, food.) From the name it is evident that 
the plant was formerly eaten, and considered a delicacy. 

Bior ros (Nymphcea) — Water-lily. JBior, or its aspirated form 
bhir or bhior, meaning water; in Arabic, bir; Hebrew, beer. From 
this root comes the name bhiorag, a water-plant {Equtsefum 
hyemale, page 96), and such place and river names as ver in 
Inver, her in Hereford, and the river Wear in Durham. 

Blath nam bodaigh {Fapaver) — Poppy, meaning the rustic's 
flower. 

Bo-coinneal {Erysiinujii aiiiaria) — Sauce alone. Bo, a cow; 
coinneal, a candle. 

Buidliechan-bo-bleacht i^Piimula veris) — Cowslip. The milk- 
cow's daisies (page 57). 

Cal Phadruigh (Saxifraga uinbrosa) — London pride ; Peter's 
kale. 

Cannach (Myrica gale) — Bog-myrtle. (This name must not be 

o 



io6 

confounded with canach^ the bog-cotton.) It means any fra- 
grant shrub, pretty, beautiful, mild, soft. 

Caorag leana {Lychnis flos-aiculi) — Ragged robin. Caorag, a 
spark ; and leana, a marsh. 

Caor con ( Vibimium opiilus) — Dogberry. Caor, a berry ; con, 
dog. 

Cerrucan {Danciis carota and Shwi sisartnn) — Skirrets. Name 
applied to the roots of these and the next plant. 

Curran earraich l^Potentilla ansei'ina) — Silver - weed ; wild 
skirret (page 19). 

" Mil fo thalamh, cuirain Earraich." 
Underground honey, spring carrots. 

"Exceptional luxuries. The spring carrot is the root of the 
silver-weed." — Sheriff Nicolson. 

Coirean coilleach {LycJniis diurna) (page 8). 

Collaidin "ban {Fapaver) — White poppy (page 4). 

Corran lin (Spergula arvensis) — Spurrey. 

Cuirinin {Nymphcea) — Water-hly. 

Daileag {Phoejiix dadylifei-a) — The date-tree. 

Dearag thalmhainn i^Fnmaria officinalis) — Fumitory. From 
dearg, red ; thalamh, earth, ground. 

Dearcan dubh {Ribes nigrum) — Black currants. For dearc see 
page 45. 

Deochdan dearg {Trifoliicm pratense) — Red clover. 

Driuch na muine {Drosera rotiindifolia) — Sun-dew. Driiich, 
dew; and na muine of the hill. 

Dun, lus {Scrophula?-ia nodosa) — Figwort, the high plant. 
According to Bede dun means a height in the ancient British 
language ; hence the terminations of names of towns, don and toji. 

Eabh (yPopulus tf-emula) — Aspen. The Gaelic for Eve. 

Eanach {Nardus stricta). 

Easdradh {Filices) — Ferns. 

Eidheann mu chrann {Hedera helix) — The ivy (page 28). 

" Gach fiodh 's a' cboille 
Ach eidheann mu chrann a's fiodhagacli. " 

Every tree in the wood 

Except 17^ and bird-cherry tree. 

Feathlog fa chrann [Lonicera periclymennm) (page 34). 
Fib {Vacciniujn vitis idoea) — Whortleberry. 
Pineal gkreugach {Trigonella) — Greek fennel. 
Fiodh almug {Santalum album) — Sandal-wood. 



I07 

" Atjiis mar an ceiiclna loiugiieas liiram a ghiulain or u (Jpliir, agus 
ru mhoran i\.o fhiodh almtiig.''' — (Stuart) i Kings x. ii.' 

The navy of Hiram brought in from Ophir gold and great plenty of 
Almug trees. 

Fionnach {Naniiis stricta) — Tvom jionn^ wliite. 

Fiuran and giuran {Heradeiint spondyliuni) — Cow-parsnip. 

Fofannan min {Sonchus oleraccus) — Sow-thistle. Yorfofannan, 
^QQfot/ia/i/ian (page 38). 

Forr dris {Rubus rubiginosd) — Sweet-briar. 

Fuaim an t' Siorraigh [Fumaria officinalis) — Fumitory. Fuaim, 
sound ; an f Siorraig/i, of the sheriff! Probably only a humorous 
play on the words '^fumaria officinalis T . •. 

Furran (Qiiercns fobur) — The oak. 

Gairleach co\\2Ji6. {Erysimum alliaria) — Jack by the hedge; 
meaning hedge garlic. 

Gairteog (Pynis mains) — Crab apple. From garg, sour, bitter. 

Gall pheasair (Z/z/Z/z/zj-)— Lupin (see page 16). 

Gall uinnseann {Pyrus aria) — Quickbeam tree. 

Gearr bochdan {Cakile mariiinia) — Sea gilly -flower. 

Glaodhran [Oxalis and Rhinanthns crista-galli) — Meaning a 
"rattle." Dictionaries give this name to wood-sorrel; in Bread- 
albane it is applied generally to the yellow rattle. 

Glocan {Prunns padus) — Bird-cherry. Glocan or glacan, a 
prong or fork. 

Goirgin garaidh (Allium ursinuni) — Garlic. 

Goirmin searradh {Viola tricolor) — Pansy; heart's-ease. 

Gran arcain {Ranunculus ficaria) — Lesser celandine. Arc, a 
cork, from its cork-like roots. 

Leamhnach {Potentilla tormentilla) — Common tormentil. 
Name in Gaelic, meaning "tormenting,'' from which ^Weann- 
arlach''' probably is a corruption (see page 19). 

' > {Cotyledon umbilicus) — Navel-wort. 

Lochal mothair {Veronica beccabunga) — Brook-lime. 

Lusra na geire-boirnigh {Arbutus uva-ursi) — Red bear berry, 
the plant of bitterness. Geire, bitterness ; and boirnigk, femi- 
nine. '^Qt ^^ ineacan easa fiorine^ 

Lus na meala mor {Malva sylvestris) — The common mallow. 

Lus mor. Also applied to Verbascum t/iapsus, Mullein, as 
well as to the foxglove {Digitalis). 

Lus ros {Geranium Robert ianum) — Herb Robert ; crane's-bill ; 
the rose-wort. 



]o8 

Lus an lonaidh {^Angelica sylvestris) — Wood angelicn. Lon- 
aidh is the piston or handle of the churn. The umbelliferous 
flower has much the appearance of that implement. The com- 
mon name in Breadalbane (see page 31). 

Lus an t' seann duine — The old man's plant. Name given in 
some places to " southernwood," Artemisia abrotanum. 

Lus na seabhag — Hawkweed. 

Meacan easa beanine (/V^///^)— Female paeony. 

Meacan easa fiorine {Fceonia) — Male paeony. Old botanists 
used to distinguish between two varieties of this plant, and named 
them male and female. This was a mere fanciful distinction, 
and had no reference to the real functions of the stamens and 
pistils of plants; but yet there existed a vague idea, from time 
immemorial, that fecundation was in some degree analogous to 
sexual relationship, as in animals — hence such allusions as 
" Tarbh, coiile," '' Dair na coille'' (see. page 68). 

Meilise {Sisyi?ibriiwi officinale) — Hedge mustard. 

Neandog chaoch {Lamiiim) — Dead nettle; blind nettle. 

Onn. Some authorities give this name to Ulex europcea^ as well 
as to Euonynms. Welsh, chwyn — hence Scotch and English idhin. 

Pea^air tuilbh (O rob us tuberosus) — Bitter vetch. 

Ponair churraigh {Me?iya?it/ies) — Marsh trefoil, meaning the 
marsh-bean, bog-bean. 

Pis phreachain ( Vicia sativa) — Pis = peas. Freachan, a ravenous 
bird. 

Raibhe {Raphanus) — Radish. 

Ramasg — Applied to various species of Ftici^ from ram, a 

branch, an oar — oar-weed. 

Reagha maighe, \ , ^ ■ , ^ \ ^xt ■, • i 

.„ . , \ {Sanicida europceiis) — Wood-sanicle. 

Reagaim and raema j ^ 

Beilige, reilteag {Gej-a/iinm Robertianum) — From reil or ;r///, 
a star. 

Rian roighe {Geranijrm Robertianum) — Crane's-bill. 

Ros maU {Althcea rosea) — Hollyhock. 

Rotheach tragha {Cratnbe maritiinq^ — Seakale. 

Searbhan muic (Cic/iorium endiva)—'Endi'\vQ. 

Seircean mor {Arctijim lappa) — Burdock. 

Seud {Hypericum). 

Sibhin {Scirpus lacustris) — Bulrush. 

^io6.Q, \viS {Lyc/iJiis Jlos-cucu/i) — Ragged Robin; meaning the 
si Ik- weed, from its silken petals. 

Son duileag (Lapsana communis) — Ni]>ple-wort. Son, good; 
duileag, a leaf. 



109 

SpDg na cubhaig ( Viola tricolor)— Pansy, heart's-ease ; mean- 
ing the cuckoo's claw. 

Spriunan {Ribes 7iigrHm and rubrum) — Currants. 

Straif {Prirnns spi?iosa) — Sloe. 

Sreang thrian {^Ononis arvensis) — Rest-harrow. 

Staoin i^Nepeta glechonid) — Also applied to ground -ivy in 
some places, as well as to juniper. 

Subh nam ban sithe [Riibiis saxatiiis) — Stone-bramble ; the 
fairy-woman's strawberry. 

Toir-pin i^Sempervivum tectoruni) — House-leek ; probably the 
same as tirpin (see page 27). 

Traithnin {Geii?n urbaiium) — Geum. 

Treabhach (Barbarca vulgaris) — Winter cress.' Treab/i, a tribe, 
a village. 

Truim crann {Sambucus niger) — Elder, corruption from druni 
(see page 34). 

Tuile t\idlm)i2^mii(Rafiimculiis bulbosus) — Tuile^ a water-course. 

Tuimpe — Turnip. 



N O r E S. 

Page 6. 
Nasturtium officinalis — Water-cress. A curious old super- 
stition respecting the power of this plant as a charm to facilitate 
milk-stealing was common in Scotland and Ireland. " Not long 
ago, an old woman was found, on a May morning, at a spring- 
well cutting the tops of water-cresses with a pair of scissors,'mut- 
tering strange words, and the names of certain persons who had 
cows, also the words, " S' liomsa leath do choud sa" (half thine 
is mine). She repeated these words as often as she cut a sprig, 
which personated the individual she intended to rob of his milk 
and cream." " Some women make use of the root of groundsel 
as an amulet against such charms, by putting it amongst the 
cream." — Martin. Aniong the poorer classes, water -cress 
formed a most important auxiliary to their ordinary food. " If 
they found a plot of water-cresses or Shamrock, there they 
flocked as to a feast for the time." — Spencer. 

Page 8. 
Drosera rotundifolia — Sun-dew. Ltis iia fearnaich. ^^ Ear- 
nach " was the name given to a distemper among cattle, caused. 



it is supposed, by eating a poisonous lierb. Some say the sun- 
dew — others, again, aver tlie sun-dew was an effectual remedy. 
This plant was much employed among Celtic tribes for dyeing 
the hair. 

Page 8. 
Saponaria. The quotation from Pliny may be thus trans- 
lated : "Soap is good — that invention of the Gauls — for red- 
dening the hair, out of grease and ash." 

Page 9. 
Linum usitatissimum {Lion). 

"Meirle salainn 's meirle fiois, 
Meirl' o nach fhaigh anam clos ; 
Gus an teid an t-iasg air tir, 
Cha 'n fhaigh nieirleach an lin clos." 

" This illustrates the great value attached to salt and lint, espe- 
cially among a fishing population, at a time when the duty on 
salt was excessive, and lint was cultivated in the Hebrides." — 
Sheriff Nicolson. 

Page 10. 
Hypericum. Martin evidently refers to this ])lant, and calls 
\i '■^ Fuga dcemomiiiiP "John Morrison, who lives in Bernera 
(Harris), wears the plant called ^^ SeiuV in the neck of his coat 
to prevent his seeing of visions, and says he never saw any 
since he first carried that plant about with him." Children 
have a saying when they meet this plant — 

"Luibh Cholum Chille, gvin sireadh gun iarraidh, 
'Sa dheoin I)ia, cha bhasaich mi nochd." 
St Coliunbus-wort, unsought, unasked, and, please God, I won't die lu-night. 

Page 12. 
Shamrock — Wood- sorrel and white clover. The shamrock 
is said to be worn by the Irish upon the anniversary of St 
Patrick for the following reason : When the Saint preached the* 
Gospel to the pagan Irish, he illustrated the doctrine of the 
Trinity by showing them a trefoil, which was ever afterwards worn 
upon the Saint's anniversary. " Between May-day and harvest, 
butter, new cheese, and curds and shamrock, are the food of 
the meaner sort all this season."— Piers's 'West Meath.' 

Page 13. 
Gaelic Alphabet. Antecedent to the use of the present 
alphabet, the ancient Celts wrote on the barks of trees. The 



writing on the bark of trees they called o^Jiuim, and sometimes 
\.rcQs,, fea{i/ia^ and the present alphabet litri or letters. 

'• Cormac Casil cona cliuru, 
Leir Mumii, cor mela ; 
Tragaid im righ Ratha Bicli, 
Na Liiri is na Fcadha.^'' 

Cormac of Cashel with his companions 
Munster is his, may he long enjoy ; 
Around the King of Raith Bicli are cultivated 
The Letters and the Treks. 

The " letters " here signify, of course, our present Gaelic 
alphabet and writings; but the "trees" ca.n only signify the 
og/iuim, letters, which were named after trees indigenous to the 
country." — Prof. O'Curry. 

Page 1 6. 
Orobus tuberosus {Corra meiile, M'Alpin, and cairmeal^ 
Armstrong) — Bitter vetch — and sometimes called "wild 
liquorice" — seems to be the same name as the French '''■ cara- 
7nel," burnt sugar; and according to Webster, Latin, "-^ caiina 
inellis,^' or sugar-cane. The fermented liquor that was formerly 
made from it, called cairm or aiirm, seems to be the same as 
the ^^ courmi'' which Dioscorides says the old Britons drank. 
The root was pounded and infused, and yeast added. It was 
either drunk by itself, or mixed with their ale — a liquor held in 
high estimation before the days of whisky ; hence, the word 
'■'' ciiirm " signifies a feast. That their drinking gatherings cannot 
have had the demoralising tendencies which might be expected, 
is evident, as they were taken as typical of spiritual communion. 
In the Litany of " Aengus Ce'ile' De," dating about the year 798, 
we have a poem ascribed to St Brigid, now preserved in the 
Burgundian Library, Brussels. 

" Ropadh maith lem corm-hna mor, 
Do righ na righ, 

Ropadh maith lem muinnter nimhe 
Acca hoi tre bithe shir." 

I should like a great lake of ale 

P'or the King of kings ; 

I should like the family of heaven 

To be drinking it through time eternal. 

To prevent the inebriating effects of ale, " the natives of Mull 
are very careful to chew a piece of '' charmeV root, finding it 
to be aromatic — especially when they intend to have a drinking- 



bout; for they say this in some measure prevents drunkenness." 
— Martin's 'Western Isles.' 

Trees, Thorns. A superstition was common among the Celtic 
races, that for every tree cut down in any district, one of the 
inhabitants in that district would die that year. Many ancient 
forts, and the thorns which surrounded them, were preserved by 
the veneration, or rather dread, with which the thorns were 
held ; hence, perhaps, the name sgitheach, sgith (anciently), fear; 
hence also, droighionn {druidh), enchantment, witchcraft. 

Page 20. 

Rubus fruticosus —{Smearagan) Blackberries. It was and is, 
I believe, still a common belief in the Highlands that each 
blackberry contains a poisonous worm. Another popular belief 
is — kept up probably to prevent children eating them when 
unripe — that the fairies defiled them at Michaelmas and Hal- 
loween. 

Page 24. 

Pyrus aucuparia — {Craobh chaoran) Mountain-ash. The 
Highlanders have long believed that good or bad luck is 
connected with various trees. The caoran or fuinnseach coille 
(the wood enchantress) was considered by them as the most 
propitious of trees ; hence, it was planted near every dwelling- 
house, and even far up in the mountain-glens, still marking the 
spot of the old shielings. " And in fishing-boats as are rigged 
with sails, a piece of the tree was fastened to the haul-yard, and 
held as an indispensable necessity." " Cattle diseases were 
supposed to have been induced by fairies, or by witchcraft. It 
is a common belief to bind unto a cow's tail a small piece of 
mountain-ash, as a charm against witchcraft." — Martin. And 
when malt did not yield its due proportion of spirits, this was a 
sovereign remedy. In addition to its other virtues, its fruit was 
supposed to cause longevity. In the Dean of Lismore's Book 
there occurs a very old poem, ascribed to Caoch O'Cluain 
(Blind O'Cloan); he described the rowan-tree thus — 

" Caorth^inn do bhi air Loch Maoibh do chimid an traigh do dheas, 
Gach a re 'us gach a mios toradh abuich do bin air. 
Seasamh bha an caora sin, fa millise no mil a bhlaih, 
Do chumadh a caoran dearg fear gun bhiadh gu ceann naoi trath, 
Bleadhna air shaoghal gach fir do chuir sin is sgeul dearbh." 

A rowan-tree stood on Loch Mai, 

We see its shore there to the south ; 

Every quarter, every month, 

It bore its fair, well-ripened fruit; 



'I'here stood the tree alone, erect, 
Its fruit than honey sweeter far, 
That precious fruit so riclily red 
Did suffice for a man's nine meals ; 
A year it added to man's life." 

— Translated by l)r M'Lauchlav. 

Page 26. 
Ribes grossularia. The prickles of the gooseberry-bush were 
used as charms for the cure of warts and the stye. A wedding- 
ring laid over the wart, and pricked through the ring with a 
gooseberry thorn, will remove the wart. Ten gooseberry thorns 
are plucked to cure the stye — nine are pointed at the part 
affected, and the tenth thrown over the left shoulder. 

Page 31. 
Meum athamanticum — Muilceaiui. The Inverness local 
name for this plant, " Bricin'' is probably named after Si Bricin, 
who flourished about the year 637. He had a great establish- 
ment at Tuaiiji Drecain. His reputation as a saint and '■'■ollamh^^ 
or doctor, extended far and wide; to him Cemtfaeladh, the learned, 
was carried to be cured after the battle of Magh Rath. He had 
three schools for philosophy, classics, and law. It seems very 
strange, however, that this local name should be confined to 
Inverness, and be unknown in Ireland, where St Bricin was 
residing. 

Page 32. 

Pastinaca sativa — [Curran geal) The white wild carrot, 
parsnip. The natives of Harris make use of the seeds of the 
wild white carrot, instead of hops, for brewing their beer, and 
they say it answers the purpose sufficiently well, and gives the 
drink a good relish besides. 

"There is a large root growing amongst the rocks of this 
island — the natives call it the '' Currafi petris,' the rock- carrot 
— of a whitish colour, and upwards of two feet in length, where 
the ground is deep, and in shape and size like a large carrot." 
— Martin. 

Daucus carota — Cur7'a?i buidhe. "The women present the 
men (on St Michaelmas Day) with a pair of fine garters, of 
divers colours, and they give them likewise a quantity of wild 
carrots."— Martin. 

Page 34. 

Sambucus niger — (Druman) The elder. " The common people 
[of the Tlighlands] keep as a great secret in curing wounds the 



114 

leaves of the elder, which they have gathered the first day of 
April, for the purpose of disappointing the charms of witches. 
They affix them to their doors and windows." — C. de Iryngin, 
at the Camp of Athole, June 30, 165 1. 

Misletoe and ivy were credited with similar powers. '' The 
inhabitants cut withies of misletoe and ivy, make circles of 
them, keep them all the year, and pretend to cure hectic and 
other troubles by them." — See Appendix to Pennant's 'Tour.' 

"The misletoe," says Valancey, in his 'Grammar of the Irish 
Language,' "was sacred to the Druids, because not only its 
berries, but its leaves also, grew in clusters of three united to 
one stock." 

Page 38. 

Carduus benedictus — Fothaiman beamiuichte, though applied 
to " Mariajius^^' is probably " Centaurea benedictus^' and was 
so called from the many medicinal virtues it was thought to 
possess. It is a native of Spain and the Levant. 

C. heterophyllus— Melancholy thistle. Was said to be the 
badge of James I. of Scotland. A most appropriate badge ; 
but yet it had no connection with the unfortunate and melan- 
choly history of the Stuarts, but was derived from the belief 
that a decoction of this plant was a sovereign remedy for mad- 
ness, which, in older times, was called " melancholy." 

The plant generally selected to represent the Scotch heraldic 
thistle is Onopordo7i acanthium, the cotton thistle, and, strange 
to say, it does not grow wild in Scotland. Achaius, king of 
Scotland (in the latter part of the eighth century), is said to 
have been the first to have adopted the thistle for his device. 
Favine says Achaius assumed the thistle in combination with 
the rue : the thistle, because it will not endure handling ; and 
the rue, because it would drive away serpents by its smell, 
and cure their poisonous bites. The thistle was not received 
into the national arms before the fifteenth century. 

Quercus robur — Darach. The age of the oak-tree was a 
matter of much curiosity to the old Gaels : — 
" Tri aois coin, aois eich ; 

Tri aois eich, aois duine ; 

Tri aois duine, aois feidh ; 

Tri aois feidh, aois firein ; 

Tri aois firein, aois craoibh-dharaicb." 

Thrice dog's age, age of horse. 

Thrice horse's age, age of man ; 

Thrice man's age, age of deer ; 

Thrice deer's age, age of eagle ; 

Thrice eagle's age, age of oalc. 



115 

"The natives of Tiree preserve their yeast by an oaken wyth, 
which they twist and put into it, and for future use keep it in 
barley straw." — Martin. 

Page 43. 

Chrysanthemum leucanthemum — Ox eye daisy, called in 
Gaelic ^^ Bremea?t brothach" Breinean or brainean also means 
a king ; Welsh, brenhin. The word is now obsolete in the 
Highlands. The plant was a remedy for the king's-evil. 

Page 44. 
Achillea millefolium — Earr ihalmhainn. The yarrow, cut 
by moonlight by a young woman, with a black-handled knife, 
and certain mystic words, similar to the following, pro- 
nounced — 

" Good-morrow, good-morrow, fair yarrow, 
And thrice good-morrow to thee ; 
Come, tell me before to-morrow, 
Who my true love shall be." 

The yarrow is brought home, put into the right stocking, and 
placed under the pillow, and the mystic dream is expected ; but 
if she opens her lips after she has pulled the yarrow, the charm 
is broken. Allusion is made to this superstition in a pretty song 
quoted in the * Beauties of Highland Poetry,' p. 381, beginning — 

" Gu'n dh'eirich mi mocli, air madainn an de, 
'S ghearr mi'n earr-thalmhainn, do bhri mo sgeil ; 
An duil gu'm faicinn-sa riiin mo chleibh ; 
Ochoin ! gu'm facas, 's a ciil rium fein." 
I rose yesterday morning early, 
And cut the yarrow according to my skill. 
Expecting to see the beloved of my heart. 
Alas ! 1 saw him — but his back was towards me. 

The superstitious customs described in Burns's ** Halloween " 
were common among the Celtic races, and are more common on 
the western side of Scotland, from Galloway to Argyle, in con- 
sequence of that district having been occupied for centuries by 
the Dalriade Gaels. 

Page 47. 

Fraxinus excelsior — Craobh yifinseann (the ash-tree) was a 
most potent charm for cures of diseases of men and animals — 
e.g.^ murrain in cattle, caused, it was supposed, by being stung 
in the mouth, or by being bitten by the larva of some moth. 
" Bore a hole in an ash-tree, and plug up the caterpillar in 
it, the leaves of that ash are a sure specific for that disease." 



ii6 

Martin adds, "the chief remedies were 'charms' for the cure of 
their diseases." 

Page 51. 

Verbena officinalis — Tromhhod. Borlase, in his ' Antiquities 
of Cornwall/ speaking of the Druids, says : " They were exces- 
sively fond of the vervain ; they used it in casting lots and 
foretelling events. It was gathered at the rising of the dog- 
star." 

Page 68. 

Corylus avellana — Calltuinn. Col, cal, in Welsh, signifies 
loss, also hazel-wood. The Welsh have a custom of presenting 
a forsaken lover with a stick of hazel, probably in allusion to the 
double meaning of the word. 

Page 78. 

Allium porrum — '^ Bugha'^ The explanation given by Shaw 
that this was a name for leek seemed improbable, especially as it 
was a favourite comparison to the eye "when it is blue or dark." 
Turning to a passage describing Cormac Mac Airt, I found — 

" Cosmail ri bugJia a shuili," 
which Professor O 'Curry renders — 

" His eyes were like slaes,'''' — 

a far more appropriate comparison. Narcissus, Lus a chrpvicJiijin 
(the bent head), suggests the beautiful lines of Herrick — 

" When a dafifodill I see 
Hanging its head t' wards me, 
Guesse I may what I must be : 
F'irst, I shall decline my head ; 
Secondly, I shall be dead ; 
Lastly, safely burried." 

Page 79. 
A. ursinum — Creamh. 

" 'Is leigheas air gach tinn 
Creamh 'us im a' Mhaigh." 
Garlic and May butter 
Are remedies for every illness. 

" Its medicinal virtues were well known ; but like many other 
plants once valued and used by our ancestors, it is now quite 
superseded by pills and doses prepared by licensed practi- 
tioners." — Sheriff Nicolson. 



Page 8 1. 
Potamogeton na^tsms—Dut/iasg na h'aibhne. The broad-leaved 
l)ondvveed is used in connection with a curious superstition in 
some parts of Scotland, notably in the West Highlands. '• It is 
gathered in small bundles in summer and autumn, where it is 
found to be plentiful, and kept until New Year's Day (old 
style) ; it is then put for a time into a tub or other dish of hot 
water, and the infusion is mixed with the first drink given to 
milch cows on New- Year's Day morning. This is supposed to 
keep the cows from witchcraft and the evil eye for the remainder 
of the year ! It is also supposed to increase the yield of milk." 
— Rev. A. Stewart, Nether Lochaber. 

Page 87. 

Arundo phragmites — Cruisgiornach {criiisigk, in Irish, music, 
song). Reeds were said by the Greeks to have tended to sub- 
jugate nations by furnishing arrows for war, to soften their man- 
ners by means of music, and to lighten their understanding by 
supplying implements for writing. These modes of employment 
mark three different stages of civilisation. The great reed mace 
{Typha latifolia) cuigealnam ban sithe, is usually represented by 
painters in the hand of our Lord, as supposed to be the reed 
with which He was smitten by the Roman soldiers, and on which 
the sponge filled with vinegar was reached to Him. 

Oats — Coirc. Martin mentions an ancient custom observed 
on the 2d of February. The mistress and servant of each 
family take a sheaf of oats and dress it in woman's apparel, put 
it in a large basket, with a wooden club by it, and this they call 
Briids bed. They cry three times Briid is come, and welcome. 
This they do before going to bed, and when they rise in the 
morning they look at the ashes for the impress of Briid's club 
there ; if seen, a prosperous year will follow. 

Algae — Feaniainn. The inhabitants of the Isle of Lewis had 
an ancient custom of sacrificing to a sea-god called " Shony " 
at Hallowtide. The inhabitants round the island came to the 
church of St Mulvay, each person having provisions with him. 
One of their number was selected to wade into the sea up to 
the middle, and carrying a cup of ale in his hand, standing still 
in that position, crying out with a loud voice, " Shony, I give 
you this cup of ale, hoping you will be so kind as to send us 
plenty of sea-ware for enriching our ground the ensuing year." 
And he then threw the cup into the sea. This was performed 



ii8 

in the night-time; they afterwards returned to spend the night 
in dancing and singing, 

Shony (Sjoni), the Scandinavian Neptune. This offering was 
a relic of pagan worship introduced into the Western Isles by 
the Norwegians when they conquered and ruled over these 
islands centuries ago {see footnote, p. 40). 

K'Eogh's Works.— The Rev. John K'Eogh wrote a work on 
the plants of Ireland, ' Botanalogica Universalis Hibernia,' and 
another on the animals, ' Zoologica Medicinalis Hibernia,' about 
the year 1739, giving the Irish names as pronounced by the 
peasantry at that period. They are now rare works, and are of 
no value save for the names, for they contain no information 
except the supposed medicinal virtues of the plants and animals 
given in them. 

All creatures, from the biggest mammal to the meanest worm, 
and all plants, were supposed to have some potent charm or 
virtue to cure disease. A large number of K'Eogh's prescrip- 
tions are compounds of the most disgusting ingredients. We 
can only now smile at the credulity that would lead any one to 
imagine that by merely looking at the yellow-hammer {Ember- 
iza citrinella) " by any one who has the jaundice, the person is 
cured, but the bird will die." Or that " the eyes drawn entire 
out of the head of a hare taken in March, and dried with pepper, 
and worn by women, \\\\\ facilitate childbirth." 

He gives this singular cure for the jaundice : *' A live moth, 
laid on the navel till it dies, is an excellent remedy ! Nine 
grains of wheat taken up by a flea, are esteemed good to cure 
a chincough — that insect is banished and destroyed by elder 
leaves, flowers of pennyroyal, rue, mint, and fleabane, celan- 
dine, arsmart, mustard, brambles, lupin, and fern-root." For 
worms : " Take purslane seeds, coralina, and St John's-wort, of 
each an equal part ; boil them in spring water. Or take of the 
powders of hiera pier a {Fieris kieraeioides), of the seeds of the 
bitter apple, of each one dram, mixed with the oil of rue and 
savin, spread on leather, and apply it to the navel ; this is an 
approved remedy." Epilepsy — "The flesh of the moor hen, 
with rosemary, lemons, lavender, and juniper berries, will cure it." 
And for children — ''Take a whelp {cullane), a black sucking 
puppy (but a bitch whelp for a girl), strangle it, open it, and 
take out the gall, and give it to the child, and it will cure the 
falling-sickness." One more example will sufficiently illustrate 
the value of K'Eogh's books. *' 'Usnea capitis humani, or the 



119 

moss growing on a skull that is exposed to the air, is a very 
good astringent, and stops bleeding if applied to the parts, or 
ei)en held in the hand^ 

OUamh. This was the highest degree, in the ancient Gaelic 
system of learning, and before universities were established, in- 
cluded the study of law, medicine, poetry, classics, &c. A suc- 
cession of such an order of literati^ the Beatons, existed in Mull 
from time immemorial, until after the middle of last century. 
Their writings were all in Gaelic, to the amount of a large chest- 
ful. Dr Smith says that the remains of this treasure were bought 
as a literary curiosity for the library of the Duke of Chandos, and 
perished in the wreck of that nobleman's fortune. If this lost 
treasure could be recovered, we would have valuable material 
for a more complete collection of Gaelic names of plants, and 
information as to the uses to which they were applied, than we 
now possess. 

Medicinal Plants. — The common belief that a plant grew 
not far from the locality where the disease prevailed, that would 
cure that disease, led to many experiments which ultimately 
resulted in finding out the undoubted virtues of many plants ; 
but wholesale methods were frequently adopted by gathering all 
the herbs, or as many as possible, in that particular district and 
making them into a bath. 

At the battle of " Magh Tuireadh," we are informed " that the 
chief physician prepared a healing bath or fountain with the 
essences of the principal herbs and plants of Erinn, gathered 
chiefly in Lus-Magh, or the Plain of Herbs; and on this bath 
they continued to pronounce incantations during the battle. 
Such of the men as happened to be wounded in the fight were 
immediately plunged into the bath, and they were instantly 
refreshed and made whole, so that they were able to return and 
fight against the enemy again and again." — Prof. O'Curry. 

Incantations with Plants. — Cures by incantations were 
most common. A large number of plants were thus employed. 
When John Roy Stewart sprained his ankle, when hiding after the 
battle of Culloden, he said : — 

" Ni mi'n ubhaidh rinn Peadar do Phal, 
'S a luighean air fas leum bruaich, 
Seachd paidir n' ainm Sagairt a's Pap 
Ga chuir ris na phlasd mu'n cuairt." 



I20 



I'll make the incantation tliat Peter made for Paul, 

With the herbs that grew on the ground : 
Seven paternosters in the name of priest and pope, 

Applied like a plaster around. 

"And if the dislocated joints did not at once jump into their 
proper places during the recitation, the practitioner never failed 
to augur favourably of the comfort to the patient. There were 
similar incantations for all the ills that flesh is heir to : the 
toothache could not withstand the potency of Highland magic ; 
dysentery, gout, Szc, had all their appropriate remedies in the 
never-failing incantations." — M'Kenzie. See 'Beauties of High- 
land Poetry,' p. 268, where several of the "orations" repeated 
as incantations are given. 

Plants and Fairy Superstitions. — A large number of 
plant -names in Gaelic have reference to fairy influence. At 
births many ceremonies were used to baffle the fairy influence 
over the child (see page 57), otherwise it would be carried off 
to fairyland. The belief in fairies as well as most of these 
superstitions, is traceable to the early ages of the British Druids, 
on whose practices they are founded. The foxglove {Meuran 
sithe), odhran, the cow-parsnip, and copagach, the docken, were 
credited with great power in breaking the fairy spell; on the 
other hand, some plants were supposed to facilitate the fairy 
spell, and would cause the individual to be fairy " struck " or 
^^ buillife." The water-lily was supposed to possess this power, 
hence its names, Bidllite^ and Rab/iagach, meaning beware, 
warning. Rushes found a place in fairy mythology : Schoejiiis 
nigricans (Sei7nhean) furnished the shaft of the elf arrows, which 
were tipped with white flint, and bathed in the dew that lies on 
the hemlock. 

Nettles — " They also used the roots of nettles and the roots 
of reeds as cures for coughs." In some parts of Ireland there 
is a custom on May eve and May day amongst the children, 
especially the girls, of running amuck with branches of nettles, 
stinging every one they meet. They had also a belief that steel 
made hot and dipped in nettle-juice made it flexible. Camden 
says " that the Romans cultivated nettles when in Britain in 
order to rub their benumbed limbs with them, on account of the 
intense cold they suff"ered when in Britain." A remedy worse 
than the disease. 



INDEX. 



GAELIC NAMES. 



Ahhal, adhul, 23. 

Abhran doiiog, 82, 

Agairg, 99 

Aiglmt-ann thalmhainn, 54. 

Aigheannach, 38. 

Aillean, 42. 

Ailm, 65, 

Aingealag, 31. 

Ainean, Ins an, 97. 

Aire, aircean, 67. 

Airmeirg, 35. 

Airueag, 17. 

Aiteil, aitiol, 74. 

Alias Mhuire, 11. 

Aloe, 77. 

Amon, 18. 

Aoin, 83. 

Aon chasach, 100. 

Aonsgoth, 4. 

Apricoc, 17. 

Asair, 62. 

Asparag, 80. 

Athair liath, 53. 

Athair thalmhainn, 44. 

Athan, 41. 

Badan measgan, 56. 
Baitme bo bhuie, 57. 
Bainne (lus a bhaine), 56. 
Bainne gamhnach, 34. 
Bainne ghabhair, 50. 
Bainne muic, 36. 
Bairghin, 2. 
Baladh chnis, 35. 
Balg bhuachail, 99. 
Balg losgain, 99. 
Balg bhuachair, 99. 
Ba'g smuid, 99. 
Balg seididh, 99. 
Ballan losgainn, 99. 
Ban, crann, 11. 
Barbrag, 3. 
Bar-guc, 14. 
Bar-dearg, 58. 
Birr braonan-nan-con, 19. 
Barr cluigeannaoh, 44. 
BaiT a mhilltich, 81. 
Barra mhislean, 15. 
Barrag ruadh, 4. 
Barr-stamh, 100. 
Barrag uaine, 104 
Beaman bride, 37. 
Beacan, 99. 



Bearnan bearnach (Appendix). 
Bealuidh. bealaidh, 14. 
Bealaidh frangach, 14. 
Bealaidh sasunach, 14. 
Bealaidh (calg), 80. 
Beatha, or beithe, 68. 
Beathag, Ins, 55. 
Beathe beag, 69. 
Beathe oarraigeach, 69. 
Beathe cluasach, 69. 
Beathe, dubh casach, 69. 
Beathe dubhach, 69. 
Beathe nam measa, 67. 
Beilbheag, 4. 
Beitean, 92. 
Bhracadail, lus, 63. 
Biodh nan eoiuean, 13. 
Biodh an sionaich (Appen- 
dix) 
Biatas, biatus, 55, 59. 
Bile buidhe, 42. 
Bile cuige (Appendix). 
Bileach choigreach, 42. 
Bileach losgain, 22. 
Bileanach, bilearach, 104. 
Billeog math, 36. 
Billeog son (Appendix). 
Bilur, 61. 
Biodh a leithid, 8. 
Biolair, 6, 1" 9. 
Biolair tragha, 5. 
Biolair mhnine, 49. 
Biolair ghriaghain, 6. 
Bior leacain, 74. 
Biorag, 96 
Bior na biide, 37. 
Biotas, betis, 59 
Blioch, bliochan, 80. 
Biioch fochain, 37. 
Bliosan, 39. 
Bloinigean garaidh, 59. 
Bo coinneal (Appendix). 
B )chdan bearrach, 99. 
Bocsa, 63. 
Bo dheare, 46. 
Bodan, 82, 87. 
Bodan dubh, 82. 
Bodan coille, 29. 
Bodan measgan, 56. 
Bodan na cloigin, 50. 
Bodach gorm, 36 
Bodach na claiginn, 50. 
Bodach dubh, 59. 



Bofulan ban, 40 

Bog lus, 38, 56. 

Bog bhuine, 82. 

Bog luachair, 85. 

Bcgghioghan, 36. 

Bog nisge, 76. 

Bomne lala, 61. 

Bolg lus, 36, 55. 

Boigan beic, 61. 

Bonaid an losgain, 99 

Borrach, 87, 92. 

Bonaist, 55. 

Borramotor, 40. 

Braonan fraoch, 19. 

Braoiian baching, 19, 30. 

Braonan buachail, 30. 

Braban, 89. 

Breallan leana, 26. 

Breoillean, 91. 

Breinean brothach, 43, 115. 

Breothan, 91. 

Bricin dubh, 31, 113. 

Brisgean, 19, 106. 

Brisglan, 19 

Brobh, 85. 

Bioighleag, 46. 

Broighleag nan con, 45 

Biium fheur, 91. 

Brog na cubhaig, 8, 56, 57, 80 

Brog braidhe, 83. 

Bron (craobh bhroin), 73. 

Brum, 14. 

Bru-cli orach, 84. 

Bnadha, Ins nam, .31. 

Buadhlan bnidhe, 42. 

Bnadh ghallan, 42. 

Bualan, am, 41. 

Buafannan, 40. 

Buafannan bnidhe, 43. 

Buafannan ban, 4(». 

Buafannan liath, 40. 

Buafannan na h' easgaran, 41. 

Bugha, 78, 116 

Buidhe nior, 7. 

Bnidhe bealtainn (Appendix). 

Buidheag, 2, 42 

Buidheag an arbhair, 43 

Buidhe na ningean, 63. 

Bnillite, 4, 12i', 

Bulastair, 17. 

Buine, 29. 

Bi'ingUs, 89. 

Buntata, 49. 



122 



BiiTisag, 71. 
Baramaide, 40. 
Burban, 40. 
Buth a muc, 80. 

Caba deasain, 36. 

Cabhan abhain, 4. 

Cabros, 9. 

Caiueal, 60. 

Caineab, 64. 

Caineab uisge, 44 

Cairmeal, 16, 111. 

Oaisleach spuinc, 99. 

Cairteal, 52 

Caitean, 66. 

Caitheamh, lus, 35. 

Caithne, 45. 

Oal na niara, 5 

Cal colbhairt, 6. 

Cal cearsleach, 6. 

Cal gruidhean, 6. 

Cal Phadruig (Appendix). 

Calltuinn, 68, 116. 

Calg bhealaidh, 80. 

Calg bhrudhan, 80. 

Calameilt, 52 

Caman scarraigh, 4 

Cam-bhil, 43. 

Camomhil, 43. 

Camomhil fiahhain, 43. 

Canach, 86 

Canal, 60. 

Cannach (Appendix). 

Caoch nan cearc, 40 

Caod aslachan Cholum chille, 

11. 
Caogma, 29. 
Caoimin, 50. 
Caoirin leana, 35. 
Caolach, lus, 9. 
Caol fail, 64. 
Caol miosachan, 9. 
Caoran, 24, 112, 
Caoran staoin, 74. 
Caor bad miann, 20, 
Caor thalmhainn, 30. 
Caor fionnag, 62. 
Caorag leana (Appendix). 
Carbhainn, 30. 
Carbhaidh. 30. 
Carraceen, 102. 
Carran, 5, 9, 92. 
Carrait, 32. 
Cartal, 52. 
Carthan curaigh, 35. 
Carthan arraigh, 35. 
Cas fa chrann, 34. 
Cas an uain, 15 
Castearban nam muc, 37. 
Cas maidhiche, 15. 
Casgair, 63. 
Cassachdaighe, 41. 
Cat luibh, 40. 
Catog, 20 

Cathair thalmhainn, 44 
Caubsadan, 53. 
Ccnamh biiste, lu.s nan, 56. 
Cearban, 2 
Cearban feoir, 2. 
Ceanabhan beag, 55. 
Ceann ruadh, 4. 
Ceathramadh - luain - caoraeh, 

60. 
Ceadharlach, 48. 
Ceud bhileach, 48. 
Ceir-iocan, 34. 
Ceis chrainn, 92. 
Censan, 38. 
Cousaidh, lus chrann, 61. 



Cholum-cille lus, 11, 57. 
Chraois, lus a, 29 
Chrom chinn, lus a, 77. 
Chridh, lus a, 55 
Chuimein, lus Mhic, 30. 
Ciob cheann diibh, 85. 
Ciochan nan cailleachean 

marbha, 51. 
Cirean coileach, 8 
Cirean, feamainn, 100. 
Clabrus, 27. 
Clachan ghadhair, 75. 
Clarahainin lin, 49. 
Cloch bhriseach, 27. 
Cloch reathneach, 92. 
Clo-uisge, 96. 
Cloimh liath, 99. 
Cluas, lus nan, 'il 
Cluas an fh^idh, 38. 
01 las chaoin, 82. 
Cluas luch, 9, 37. 
Cluas liath, 37, 41. 
Cluain lin, 9 
Cluaran, 38. 
Cluarau deilgneaeh, 38. 
Cluaran leana, 38. 
Cluaran 6ir, 39. 
Cluaran liath, 42. 
Cnapan, lus nan, 50. 
Cnapan dubh, 39 
Cnamh lus, 40. 
Cnaib uisge, 44. 
Cno thalmhainn, 30. 
Cno ghreugach, 18. 
Cnnthan spuing, 103. 
Codalian, 4. 
Cogall, 9. 

Coindid, coinne, cainnen, 79. 
Coin ros, 21. 
Coin droighionn, 21. 
Coin fheur, 90. 
Coinbhil, 28. 
Coin bhaiscne, 58. 
Coinneach, 97. 
Coinneach dhearg, 97. 
Coirearan muic, 30. 
Coireiman, 33. 
Coirnel, 28. 
Coir, lus a, 33. 
Coirc, 88, 117. 
Coirc dfibh, 89 ' 
Coireall, 102. 
Colag, 6. 
Colluinn, 68. 
Columeille, lus, 11, 67. 
Colg bhealaidh, 80. 
Coman mionla, 43, 
Con, cona, 86. 
Conaire, 
Conan, 90. 
Conasg, 14. 
Contran, 31. 
Copag, 61. 
Copag shraide, 62. 
Copag tuaithil, 38. 
Copan an driuchd, 22. 
Corcach, 64. 
Corcar, 98. 
Corcan coille, 8 
Corn caisiol, 27. 
Corrach shod, 2 
Corra raeille, 16, 111. 
Cor-chopaig. 
Cosadh dubhaeh, 32. 
Cos uisge, 33. 
Cosga na fola, 44. 
Costag, 32. 
Costag a bhaile gheamhraidh, 

33. 



Cota preasach nighean an 

righ, 22. 
Cotharach, 56. 
Crann lus, 41. 
Craobh mac fiadh, 95. 
Cre, lus, 50. 
Creachlach dearg, 12. 
Creamh, 42, 48, 79, 116. 
Creamh gharaidh, 79. 
Creamh nan crag, 79. 
Creamh mac ftadh, 80. 
Creamh nam Muic fiadh, 80, 

93. 
Crios chu-chulainn, 18. 
Critheann, 70. 
Cro, crodh, croch, 77. 
Crob priachain, 12 
Crotal, 98. 
Crotal coille, 98. 
Cromlus, 4. 
j Cruach Phadruigh, 58. 
Cruaidh lus, 44. 
Crubh coin, 14. 
Crubh leomhainn, 22. 
Cruach luachair, 85. 
Cruba-leisin, 3. 
Cruban, lus, 47. 
Cruban na saona, 20. 
Cruithneach, 90. 
Cruniagan, 31. 
Cruach Phadruigh, 68. 
Cuach Phadruigh, 58. 
Cmisgiornach, 87, 117. 
Cucumhar, 64. 
Cuig bhileach, 19. 
Cuig mhear Mhuire, 19. 
Cuig bhileach uisge, 19. 
Cuige, Bile (Appendix) 
Ciiigeal an losgain, 75. 
Cuigeal nam ban sith, 82. 
Cuilc fheur, 88. 
Cuilc, 85. 
Cuilc mhilis, 82. 
Cuilc chrann, 82. 
Cuileann, 46. 
Cuilean tragha, 29, 
Cuinnse, 24. 
Cuineag mhighe, 31. 
Cuirteagan, 23. 
Cuir dris, 21. 
Cuiseach, 92. 
Cuiseag bhuidhe, 42. 
Cularan, 57, 62, 63. 
Cunach, 49. 
Cunieal Mhuire, 49. 
Cuphair, 73. 

Curach na cubhaig, 8, 39. 
Curach mhanaich, 3. 
Curran, 32. 
Cur ran earraich, 108. 
Curran geal, 32, 113. 
Cuiran buidhe, 32, 113. 
Cuiridin ban, 32. 
Cuiseag, 42. 
Curcais, 85, 86. 
Cathaigh, 82. 
Cutharlan, 30, 78, 82. 

Da-bhileach, 76. 
Dail chuach, 7. 
Daimisin, 17. 
Darach, 66 

Darach sior-uaine, 67. 
Dealt ruadh, 8. 
Dealt lus, 95. 
Deandag, 64. 
Dearc, lus nan, 45. 
Dearc frangach, 26. 
Dearc roide, 46. 



123 



Dearcan fithich, 45. 

Dearcan dubh, 106, 

Dearna Mhuire, 22. 

Deathach thalmhainn, 4. 

Deideag, 59. 

Deilgneach, preas, 3. 

Deolag, 34 

Deoglilag, 34. 

Deodha, 49. 

Detheogha, 49. 

Deur lus, 95. 

Dile, 32. 

Dithean, 42, 92. 

Dithean, (Mr, 42. 

Dobhar, lus, 6. 

Doire, 100. 

Donn, Ins 51. 

Dreas, dris, 21. 

Dreas muine, 21. 

Dreas smear, 21. 

Dreas cubhraidh, 21. 

Dreiinire biiidhe, 48. 

Dreimire muire, 48 

Droighionn, dubh, 17. 

Droii^hionn, geal, 22. 

Droman, 34. 

Drumain, 34. 

Druichdin mona, 8. 

Druid h lus, 33. 

Dubh an nan caora, 44. 

Dubhan ceann ehosach, 55. 

Dubhanuidh, 55. 

Dubh casach, 94. 

Duileag bhaite, 3 

Duileag bhaite bhuidhe, 3. 

Duileag ban, 4. 

Duileag son, mhaith, 37. 

Duileag Bhrighid, 37. 

Duileag bhraghad, 37. 

Duileag na cruithneachta, 97. 

Duileag na h'aibhne, 81, 117. 

Duileasg 101. 

Duileasg stainih, 102. 

Duileasg claiehe, 102. 

Duileasg nam beann, 102. 

Duilliur-feithlean, 34. 

Duilliur spuing, 41. 

Dull mhial, 48. 

Dur, dru, 66. 

Dur lus, 6 

Dur-fheur-fairge, 88. 

Dun lus, 106. 

Eadhadh, 70. 

Eala bhi, 10. 

Eala bhuidhe, 10. 

Eallan, lus an, 12. 

Eanach, 1 6. 

Earbullrigh, 12. 

Earbull each, 96. 

Earr dhreas, 21. 

Earr thalmhainn, 44, 115. 

E'isbuig, lus an, 32 

Easbuig ban, 43. 

Easbuig Speain, 43. 

Ebersluigh, 53. 

Eidheann, 28. 

Eidheann mu chrann, 106. 

Eidheann thalmhainn, 54. 

Eigheann, 28. 

Eitheann, 28. 

Eil druichd, 8. 

Eitheach, 67. 

Elebor, 3. 

Elebor gf al, 76. 

Elefleog, 60. 

EUea, 42 

Enach ghteidh, 37. 

Eo, 75. 



Eorna, 89. 

Faibhile, 67. 

Fail chuach, 7. 

Failtean fi6nn, 95. 

Fanai.<ge, 8. 

Falcaire, 58. 

Falluing Mhuire, 22. 

Farach dubh, 51. 

Farusgag, 39. 

Fathau, 41. 

Faithleadgh, 28. 

Failhlah, 28. 

Fead, 83. 

Feada coille, 13. 

Feleastar, 77. 

Fealla bog, 29. 

Feallair, i9. 

Feamainn, 25, 100, 117. 

Feamainn bholgainn, 100. 

Feamainn buidhe, 100. 

Feamainn dubh, 100. 

Feamainn dearg, 100. 

Feamainn cirean, 100. 

Feandag, 6i. 

Fearan, 79. 

Fearban, 2. 

Fearn, 68. 

Fearnaich lus na, 8, 1(9. 

Fearra-dhris, 21. 

Fearsaideag, 6. 

Feith, feithlog, fethlen, 34. 

Feireag, foireag, eireag, 20. 

Fearan curraidh, 54. 

Feoras, 13. 

Feur uisge, 90, 104. 

Feur gortach, 90. 

Feur sithein, 90. 

Feur.choinein, 90. 

Feur chaorach, 90. 

Feur phuint, 91. 

Fhogair, lus an, 61. 

Fhograidh, lus an, 3. 

Fiadh roidea^, 5. 

Fiadhain, craobh, 34, 

Fiaeal leomhaiun, 37. 

Fiatghal, 15 

Fige, fighis, 65. 

Fineal-chumhthra, 30. 

Fineal sraide, 31. 

Fineal Mhuire, 6. 

Finemhain, 71. 

Fiod theine, 73. 

Fiod sheudar, 73. 

Fiodhag, 18 

Fiona, crann, 12. 

Fionnach, 107. 

Fionnsgoth, 28 

Fionnan geal, 28. 

Fionnag, lus na, 62. 

Fionnlach, 97. 

Fioran, 87. 

Fiorthan, 87. 

Fiormann, 91. 

Fir chrann, 11. 

Fiteag cham, 87, 

Fithreach, 1( 2. 

Fiuran, 107, 

Fieann uisge, 2, 

Flige, 9 

Fliodh, 9. 

Fliodh buidhe, 9, 

Fliodh m6r, 31. 

Fliodh bhalla, 34. 

Fochas, 10. 

Foghnan, fothannan, 38. 

Foghnan beannuichte, 38, 114 

Foinneamh lus, 63. 

Fola, lus na 44. 



Folachdan, 31. 

Follasgain, 2. 

Fonndau, 38. 

Fothannan beannuichte, 88, 

114. 
Fothr6s, 4. 
Fotiuni, 51. 
Fraing, lus, 43. 
Fraoeh, 44, 45. 
Fraoch ruinnse, 44. 
Fraoeh frangach, 44. 
Fraoch bhadain, 45. 
Fraoch dearrasain, 45. 
Fraoch niara, 103. 
Fraochan, 45. 
Fualaetar, 30. 
Fualachdtar, 50. 
Fuath muic, 80. 
Fuath gorm, 49. 
Fuath mhadhaidh, 3. 
Fuile thalmhainn, 2. 
Fulnseag coilie, 24, 44. 
Fuinnseann, 47. 
Fuinnseach, 25. 
Fuinn Seagal, 25. 

Gabhan, gafan, 49. 
Gachar, 82. 
Gainnisg, 86. 
Gair cean, 9. 

Gairleach collaid (Appendix). 
Gairbhin creugach, 8. 
Gairgean creugach, 8, 110. 
Gairgean, 79. 
Gairleag, 79. 

Gairleag callaid (Appendix) 
Gairleag Mhuire, 79 
Galluran, 31. 
Gall pheasair, 16, 107. 
Gall chno. 14. 
Gall sheileach, 71. 
Gall seileasdar, 86. 
Gall uinseann, 107. 
Gallan mor, 41. 
Gallan greann chair, 41. 
Gaoicin cuthigh. 82. 
Garbhag an t' sleibhe, 95. 
Garbhag garaidh, 53. 
Garbh, lus, 34. 
Garbhraitheach, 6. 
Gath, 28. 
Gath dubh, 55, 
Gath buidhe, 5^. 
Gath mor, 55, 
Geald ruidhe, 8, 
Geal sheileach, 71. 
Gealag lair, 77. 
Geamn chno, 69 
Geamn chno fiadhain, 69. 
Geanais, 17, 
Geur-bhileach, 22. 
Geur dhearc, 45. 
Geur neimh, 63. 
Gille guirmein, 36. 
Gille mu lion, 103. 
Giolceach sleibhe, 14. 
Giubhas, 72. 
Giubhas geal, 72. 
Giubhas sasunach, 73. 
Giubhas Lochlanneach, 72. 
Giubhas uaine, 73. 
Giuran, 107. 
Ghlinne, lus, 63. 
Glan ruis, 50. 
Glas, lus, 5. 
Glas fheur, 91. 
Glasag, 102. 
Glas leun, 2. 
I Glas lann. 27. 



124 



Glasair coille, 55. 

Gleoran, 6. 

Gloiris, 27. 

Gluineach ]us an, 61. 

Gluineach uisge, 61. 

Gluineach dearg, 61. 

Gluineach beag, 61. 

Gluineach duhh, 61. 

Gluineach nior, 61. 

Gluineach teth, 61. 

Gna-ghorm, lus, 12. 

Gnabh, luibh, 40 

Gobhal luachair, 85. 

Goin fheur, 90, 91. 

Goirteag, 23. 

Gorman, 39. 

Gorman searraigh (Appendix). 

Gorm dhearc, 21. 

Gorni liath, 41. 

Gooneleg {Cornish), 45. 

Grabau, 4o. 

Grabhan dubh, 54. 

Grabhan ban, 54. 

Grabhan nan clach, 26. 

Grain nseag, 45. 

Grainnseas; dubh, 45. 

Grain ai^eiii, 2. 

Gran dubh, lus na, 30. 

Gran lach.m, 82. 

Gran ubhal, 25. 

Greaban, 18. 

Greim au Diabhail, 36. 

Grian ros, 7 

Grigleatin, 90 

Griobharsgaich, 104. 

Grioloigin, 31. 

Grobais, 10 

GroUa, lusan, 50. 

Groseag, 26. 

Gruag Mhuire, 2. 

Grunnasg, 41. 

Gugan, 42. 

Guis, 34. 

Gunnachan sputachain, 32. 

Guirmean, 5. 

Huath, 23. 

ladh lus, 48. 
ladh shlat, 23, 34. 
ladh shlat thalmhainn, 54. 
Ibhig, 93. 
lallain, 28. 
Inite, luibh, 36. 
lonntag, 64 
lonntag bhan, 54. 
lonntag mharbha, 54. 
lonntag dhe^rg, 54. 
lonntag ghreugach, 14. 
Isop, 54. 
Iteodha, 29. 
lubhar, iuthar, 74. 
lubhar thalmhainn, 74 
lubhar nan craig, 74. 
lubhar beinne, 74. 

Labhras, 60. 

Laoibhrail, 60. 

Lach cheann ruadh, 4. 

Lachan, 87. 

Lachan nan damh, 84. 

Laireag, 73 

Lamhau cM leacain, 27. 

Langa. 45. 

Langadair. 103. 

Laoch, lus nan, 26. 

Laogh, lus nan, 27 

Lioibheach, luibh, 9. 

Lasair leana, 2. 



Leac, lus an, 50. 

Leadan, liodan an fhucadair, 

36. 
Leadan liosda, 38. 
Leamhad, 10. 
Leamhneach (Appendix). 
Leamhan, 65. 
Leamhan bog, 68. 
Leanartach, i9, 107. 
Leanna, lus an, 65. 
Learmann, 84. 
Lear uinnean, 80. 
Leasaich, lus an, 35. 
Leathach bhuidhe, 22. 
Leicis, 78. 
Leigis, 78. 
Leolaicheann, 16 
Leum a chrann, 34. 
Leusaidh, lus an, 35, 63. 
Lia, 42. 
Liathan, 42. 
Liatus, 36. 
Liach laghor, 4. 
Liach roda, 81, 
Liach Brighide, 81. 
Liath, lus, 39, 53. 
Liath gorni, craobh, 46. 
Liath-lus-roid, 40. 
Lili, lilidh, 78. 
Lili bhuidhe an uisge, 4. 
Lili na gleann, 78. 
Lili an Ion, 78. 
Limoin, crann, 24. 
Linnearach, 103. 
Lin radharc, 50. 
Liobhag, 81, 97. 
Liobhan, 65. 
Lion, 9, 110. 
Lion a bhean sith, 9. 
Lion na h'aibhne, 2. 
Lionn, luibh, 65. 
Lingair, luibh an, 31. 
Liagaire, luibh an, 31. 
Lochal, 49. 

Lochan, plur an, 44, 104. 
Lothal, 49, 53. 
Luachar, 83. 
Luachar bog, 83. 
Luachar coille, 84. 
Luan lus, 95. 
Luibh laoibheach, 9. 
Luis, 24. 
Lurachainn, 79. 
Lus nam ban sith, 51. 
Lus na ban righ, 57. 
Lus nam buadha, 30. 
Lus bhainne, 8. 
Lus bheathag, 55 
Lusia bhallaidh, 64. 
Lus bhalgaire. 51, 96. 
Lus buidhe mor, 7. 
Lus buidhe bealtuinn, 2. 
Lus caitheamh, 35. 
Lus a cholamain, 3. 
Lus na cam-bhil, 43. 
Lus caolach, 9. 
Lus nan ccnamh briste, 56. 
Lus nan cluas, 27. 
Lus a choire, 33. 
Lus a chraois, 29. 
Lus chrann ceusaidh, 61. 
Lus a chrom-chinn, 77. 
Lus cr6, 60. 

Lus chosgadh na fola, 44 
Lus a chridhe, 55. 
Lus a chrubain, 47. 
Lus nan cnapan, 50. 
Lus a chorrain, 94. 
Lus an eallan, 12. 



Lus na fearnaich, 8, 109 
Lus a gharaid, i7. 
Lus a ghlinne, 63. 
Lus a ghiaidh, 59. 
Lus an t' seann duine, 1C8. 
Lus na noonag, 62. 
Lus na tola, 5. 
Lus na Fiaing, 43. 
Lus gna-ghorm, 12. 
Lus ghonaich, 97. 
Lus na h'oidhche, 49. 
Lus na h'oidhnan, 25. 
Lus nan laoch, 26. 
Lus nan laogh, 27. 
Lus nan leac, 50. 
Lus an leasaich, 35. 
Lus nan mial, 50, 56. 
Lus midhe, 56. 
Lus mor, 51. 
Lus Mhic Chuimein, 30. 
Lus Mhic righ Bhreatainn, 53 
Lus Mhic Raonail, 3. 
' Lus mharsahlidh, 54. 
Lus na meala, 34. 
Lus na nathraich, 56. 
Lus na meall mor (Appendix) 
Lus na cnamh, 31. 
Lus Pharliath, 41. 
Lus na purgaid, 62. 
Lus a phiobair, 54. 
Lus a pheubair, 54. 
Lus na peighinn, 29. 
Lus phione, 3. 
Lus an righ, 53. 
Lus riabhach, 50. 
Lus leth an samhraidh, 6. 
Lus an t'saoidh, 30. 
Lus nan scorr, 55. 
Lus siode (Appendix). 
Lus an t'siabuinn, 8. 
Lus an t'sicnlch, 59. 
Lus an sith chainnt, 25, 27. 
Lus t4ghta, 75. 
Lus an tCiise, 55. 
Lus na Spaine, 43. 
Lus a cholamain, 3. 

Mac gun athair gun mhathair, 

81. 
Mac-an-dogha, 38. 
Machall uisge, 19. 
lV[achall coille, 19. 
Machall monaidh, 19. 
Madar, 34. 
Madar fraoch, 35. 
Magairlinn meireach, 75. 
Malip, 11. 
Maloimh 10. 
Mann, 91. 
Maol dhearc, 66. 
Maothan, 71. 
Marag bhuidhe, 7. 
Maraich, am, 5. 
Marbh droighionn, 22. 
Marbh dhruidh, 22. 
Mathair an duileasg, 102. 
Meacan dubh fiadhainn, 54. 
Meacan each, 5. 
Meacan a chruidh, 32. 
Meacan easa fiorine, 108. 
Meacan ragaim, 44. 
Meacan diihh, 56. 
Meacan an righ, 32. 
Meacan sleibhe, 3. 
Meacan tobhach dubh, 38. 
Meacan ruadh, 5. 
Meal-bhuic, 64. 
Meala, lus na, 34. 
Mealoigfer corcuir, 89. 



125 



Meangach, 19, 

Meanbh pheasair 87. 

Meantas, 52. 

Mearlag, 95. 

Meath chaltuinn, 40. 

Meidil, crann, 22. 

Meilblieag, 4. 

Meirse, 30. 

Meithan, S4. 

Meoir Mhuire, 15. 

Meuran sitli, 51. 

Meuran nan daoine m^rbha, 

51 
Meuran na caillich mharbha, 

51. 
Mharsalaidh, lus, 54. 
Mial, lus na, 56. 
Midhe, lus, 56. 
Mil mheacan, 10. 
Mlleid, 87. 

Millsean monaidli, 48. 
MiUteach, niilneach, 81. 
Millteach, uisge, 89. 
Miribhar, 29. 
Minmhear, 29. 
Min fheur, 90. 
Mionag, 46. 
Mionnt gliaraidh, 52. 
Mionnt arbhair, 52. 
Jlionnt each, 52 
Mionnt fiadhain, 52. 
Mionnt coille, 52 
Mionntas chaisiol, 65. 
Miosach, 9. 
Miortal, 25. 
Miothag bhuidhe, 49. 
Mircean, 101. 
Mirean nam magh, 22, 
Mirr, 33 
Mislean, 87. 
Mislean uisge, 89. 
Misiinean dearg, 52. 
Modhalan dearg, 50. 
Modhalan buidhe, 50. 
Moin fheur, 92. 
Mointeach liath, 97. 
Mongach nihear, 29. 
Monog. 46. 
Mor fhliodh, 31. 
Mor, lus, 51. 
Moran, 27, 84. 
Mormanta, 39. 
Morran, 6. 
Motb-uraich, 75. 
Mucaig, preas nam, 21. 
Muchog, 51. 
Wughard, 40. 
Mugonian, 32. 
Muilceann, 31, 113. 
Muileog, 46. 
Muinmhear, 29. 
Miiirlinn, 101. 
Muisean, 57. 
Mulabhar, 34. 
Mulart, 34. 
Mullach dubh, 39. 
Muran, 32, 84, 88. 
Mur droighionn, 22 
Mur dhraidliean, 22. 
Mustard, 7. 

Nathair lus, 54. 
Nathraich, lus na, 56, 95. 
Nead chailleach, 1. 
Neamhnaid, 19. 
Neandog, 64, 107. 
Neip, neup fiadhain, 6. 
Neul uisge, 2, 
Niansgoth, 39. 



Nion, 47. 
Noinean, 42 
Noinean m6r, 43. 
Noinean chladaich, 58. 
Norn, 27. 
Norp, 27. 
Nuiu 47. 

Obrun, craobh, 14. 

Odharacli mliuillach, 36. 

Odharan, 32 

Oidhche, lus an, 49, 

Oidhnan, lus na li', 25. 

Oighreag, Oireag, 20 

Oinsean, 47. 

Oir, 13. 

Ola, oladh, 46. 

Om, omna, 67. 

Onen, 47. 

Or mheas, ubhal, 24, 

Oraisd, orainis, 24. 

Oragan, 53. 

Orna, 89. 

Orp, 27 

Oruin, 73. 

Pacharan cliapuill, 48, 
Paipean ruadh, 4. 
Partainn dearg, 24. 
Pearsail, 30. 
Pearsail mhor, 30. 
Peighinn lus na, 29. 
Peighinn rioghail, 52. 
Peitseag, 18. 
Pesair, 15. 

Pesair an arbliair, 16. 
Pesair ehapuill, 15. 
Pesair dubh, 15. 
Pesair buidhe, 15. 
Pesair nan luch, 15. 
Pesair nam preas, 15, 
Peur, 23 

Pharliath, lus, 41. 
Phiobaire, lus, 54. 
Phione, lus a, 3. 
Pin chrann, 72. 
Pis fiadhain, 15. 
Pleanntrin, 11. 
Plubairsin, 2. 
Plumbas, 17. 
Plumbas seargta, 17. 
Plur na gaoithe, 1. 
Plur na greine, 7, 39 
Plur na cubhaig, 6, 8. 
Plur an lochain, 44. 
Pluran cluigeannach, 44, 
Pobhuill, 70, 
Pobul, 41. 
Ponair, 16. 
Ponair airneach, 16. 
Ponair chax»uill, 16, 48, 
Ponair churraigh, 108, 
Ponair frangach, 16. 
Por-cochullaeh, 14, 
Praiseach bhaidhe, 6, 
Praiseach bhrathair, 60. 
Praiseach feidh, 5, 
Praiseach hadhain, 60, 
Praiseach glas, 60, 
Praiseach garbh, 7. 
Praiseach mhin, 60. 
Prai peach nam mara, 59. 
Praiseach tragha, 5. 
Preas deilgneach, 3. 
Priobaid, 47. 
Pro bach, 100 
Puinneag, 62. 
Purgaid, lus na, 62. 
Purpaidh, 60. 



Rabhagach, 4, 120. 
Ragaim, meacan, 44. 
Racadal, 5. 
Radbarcain, 50. 
Raeimin radhairc, 50. 
Raidhleadh, 92. 
Rail, railaidh, 67. 
Raineach, 92. 
Raineach nan crag, 93. 
Raineach cruaidh, 93. 
Raineach, frioth, 93. 
Raineach chuilinn, 93. 
Raineach, faile, 93 
Raineach, marc, 93. 
Raineach madra, 94. 
Raineach Mhuire, 94, 
Raineach nan rodainn, 94, 
Raineach mh6r, 94, 
Raineach rioghail, 95. 
Raineach uaine, 94. 
Raith, 94, 

Ramasg (Appendix). 
Ramhdroighionn, 13. 
Raonal, lus Mhic, 3, 
Raosar dubh, 26. 
Raosar dearg, 26. 
Ras chrann sior uaine, 46, 
Reagha maighe (Appendix 
Reania, reagam (Appendix 
Raeimin-radhairc, 50. 
Rein an ruisg, 50. 
Riabhach, lus, 50. 
Riaghal cuil, 12. 
Rial chuil, 12. 
Rideog, rileog, 71. 
Righ na coille, 67. 
Righeal cuil, 12, 
Righean righ, 12, 
Rod, roide, 40, 72. 
Roibhe, 44. 
Rcille, 92, 
Roisnin, 50. 
Romhan, 91, 
Ros, 17. 
Ros lachan, 82, 
Ros mar, 52, 
R6s Mhuire, 52, 
Ros Mhairie, 52, 
Ros ant'solais, 8, 
Roineach mara, 103. 
Rosor, 58, 
Ruamh, main, 35. 
Rne, rugh, ruibh, 1. 
Rue ailpeach, 1 
Rue beg, 1. 
Rue gharaidh, 1. 
Ruidel, 12. 
Ruinn ruise, 58. 
Riiintealas, 92, 
Ruis, 34, 
Ruiteagan, 20. 

Saidse, 53, 
Saidse caille, 53, 
Saidse fiadhain, 53. 
Saileog, 70. 
Sail bhuiune, 41. 
Sail chuach, 8. 
Sailigh fhrancaigh, 71. 
Saileog, 17. 
Saimbhir, 31. 
Samb, 12, 62. 
Samh bo, 12, 62 
Samhan, 74. 
Samharcan, 57. 
Samman, 57. 
Saoidh lus an t' 30 
Sceallan, 7. 
Sealbhag, 62. 



126 



Sealbhag nam fia'lh, 62. 
Seagal 1, 89. 
Sealgag, sealgan, 62. 
Seamar, 15. 
Seamar ere, 50. 
Seamar chapuill, 15. 
Seamhair Mhuire, 57. 
Seamrag, 12. 
Seainrag bhuidhe, 15. 
Seangan, 15. 
Searbh lus, 40. 
Searbhag mhilis, 49. 
Searraiche, 2. 
Seasg, S6. 
Seasgan, 87. 
Seathbhog, 54. 
Seichearlan, 57. 
Seileach, 70. 
Sei leach geal, 71. 
Seileach an t' srntha, 71. 
Seileachan, 25 
Seileachan buidhe, 57. 
Seileachan frangach, 25. 
Seileastar, 76. 
S'-ilea>targall, 86. 
Seileastar amh, 86. 
Seimhan, 85. 
Seircean suirich, 38. 
Seisg, mheirg, righ, 83. 
Seiag madraidh, 83. 
Seoniar bhan, 14. 
Send, 110. 

Sgat.hog fladhain, 86. 
Si<eachag preas nan, 22. 
Sgeachag Mhuire, 44. 
Sgeach chubliraidh, 21. 
Sgeach mhadra, 21. 
Sgealag, 7. 
Sgeamh na cloch, 92. 
Sgeamh dha'aich. 93. 
Sgitheach dubh, 17. 
Sgitheach geal, 22. 
Sheudar, 73. 
Sheudar, fiodh, 73. 
Siabuin, lus an, 8, 110. 
Sian sleibhe, 57. 
Sice, crann, 11. 
Sicnich Ins an t', 59. 
Sineamfheadha, 75. 
Sinicin, 27. 
Sinnsior, 75. 
Siobaid, 78. 
Siobhas 92 



Siothan, an, 51. 

Siorralach, 51. 

Siris, 17. 

Sitron, 24. 

Sith, lus nam ban, 51. 

Sith cainnt, 25. 

Sith cainne, 57. 

Siunas, 31. 

Slabhcean, slabhagan, 102. 

Slan lus, 55, 58. 

Slap chail, 59. 

Slat mhara, 100. 

Slat gorm, 49. 

Sleamhan, 65. 

Slochdan, 102. 

Sloucan, 102. 

Smalaig, lus na, 3D. 

Smearag, 21. 

Smeartan, 101. 

Smocan, 103. 

Soaithe bhatheadh, 25. 

Sobh, 62. 

Sobhrach, soghrach, 56 

Sobhrach geamhraidh, 57. 

Soillse nan suil, 50. 

Soirigh, soradh, 57. 

Spaine, lus na, 43. 

8i)arain, 101. 

Spinach, 60. 

Spiontag, 26. 

Sporran, an, 5, 101. 

Spuirse, 63. 

Sradag, 64. 

Sraidin, 5. 

Sreang bogha, 14. 

Sronamh, 78. 

Srubhan na muf , 37. 

Stalog, lus na, 63. 

Stamh, 100. 

Sturdan, 92. 

Subhag 

Subh craobh, 20. 

feubh thahnhainn, 20. 

Subhan laire, 20. 

Subh, or siigh dharaich. 33. 

Subh nam ban si the, 109. 

Sugag. 15, 2'». 

Suicair, lus an t', 37. 

Suidheag, 20. 

Suileog, 71. 

Suirichean suirich, 38. 

Surag, 12. 



Surabhan, 40. 
Suramont, 40. 
Suthag, 20. 

Taga, 36. 
Taghta, lus, 75. 
Tamshae, 43. 
Teanga nihin, 54. 
Teanga a nathraich, 95. 
Teanga chu, con, 5b. 
Telle, crann, 10. 
Tin gealach, 27. 
Tir pin, 27. 
Tiachd subh, 20. 
Tonn a chladaich, 58 
Torachas biadhain, 2. 
Torman, 53. 
Traileach, 100. 
Treabhach, 109. 
Tri bhilean, 15. 
Tri bhileach. 35, 48. 
Tri ballan, 35 
Trioman, 99. 
Trom, 34. 

Trombhoid, 5i, 115. 
Trusgan, 22. 
Trusgar, 103. 
Tailiop, 80. 
Tiiilm, 67. 
Tuir chia, 2. 
Tniremann, 91. 
Tiiirseach, 9. 
Tnise, 34, 53. 
Tursarrain, 9. 
Tursarranin, 9. 
Turusgar, 103. 

Uachdar, 56. 

Uath, 23 

Ubhal, 23. 

Ucus, 10. 

Ucus fransach. 10. 

IJf'US fheadhair, 10. 

Uile ioc, 33. 

Uillean, 34. 
', Uinnean, 78. 
' Uinnsean, 47, 115. 
j Ur uaine, 60 
I Ur thalmhainn, 94. 

Urabhallach, 36. 

Urach bhallach, 75. 
I Urach nihuUaich, 86. 



ENGLISH AND SCIENTIFIC. 



Acer, 11. 
Aceracese, 11. 
Achillea, 44. 
Aconitum, 3. 
Acorus, 82. 
Adders' tongue, 95. 
Adiantum, 95. 
yEgopodium, 32. 
Agaricus, 99. 
Agrimony, 22. 
Agrostis, 87. 
Aira, 92. 
Ajuga, 54. 
Alaria, 101. 
Alchemilla, 22. 
Alder, 68. 
Alexanders, 30. 
Algse, 100. . 



Alisnia, 81. 
All-heal, 33. 
Alliaria (Appendix). 
Allium, 78. 
Almond, 18. 
Alnus, 68. 
Aloe, 77. 
Alopecurus, 87. 
Alpine Ladies' Mantle, 22. 
Alt,h;p,a, 10. 
Amaranth as, 59. 
Amaryllidacese, 77. 
Anientiferae, 66. 
Ammoi)hila, 88. 
Amj'gdalus, 18. 
Anagallis, 58. 
Anemone, 1. 
Anethum, 32. 



Angelica, 31, 107. 
Anihemis, 43. 
Anthoxanthum, 87. 
Anthriscus, 32. 
Anthyllis, 15. 
Apium, 30. 
Apple, 23. 
Apricot, 17. 
Aquilegia, 3. 
Araliacesfi, 28 
Arbutus, 45, 107. 
Archangel, 54. 
Arctium, 38. 
Arenaria, 9. 
Aristolochia, 02 
Aristolochia fam., 62. 
Armoracia rusticana, 5. 
Armeria, 68. 



127 



Arrow-graps, 81 
Artemisia, 39. 
Artichoke, 39. 
Aram, 82 
Aruiido, 87. 
Asarum, 62, 
Ash, 47. 

Ash (mountain), 24 
Asparagus, 80. 
Aspen, 70. 
Asperula, 35. 
Aspliodel bog, S'>. 
Asplenium, 94. 
Athyrium, 94. 
Atriplex, 60. 
Awrantiacea', 24. 
Auricula, 57. 
Avena, 88. 
Avens, 19 ; water, 22. 

Baldmoney, 31. 

Ballota, 54. 

Barbarea, 109. 

Barberry, 3. 

Barley, 89 

Bay-tree, 60. 

Beam-t'-ee quick, (Appendix). 

Bean, 10 

Bearberry (black), 45. 

Beech, 67. 

Beet, 59. 

Belladona, 49. 

Bellis, 42. 

Berberidaceae, 3. 

Beta, 59. 

Betonica, ytachys, 55. 

Betonv, 55. 

Betula, 68. 

Bidens, 44. 

Bilberry (whortleberry), 45. 

Bindweed, 48. 

Birch, 68 

Bird cherry, 18. 

Bird's-foot trefoil, 15. 

Bishop-weed, 32. 

Bistort, 61. 

Bitter-sweet, 49. 

Bitter vetch, 16. 

Blackberry (bramble), 21. 

Black bindweed, 61. 

Black horehound, 54. 

Blackthorn, 17. 

Bladder-fern. 93. 

Blechnum, 93. 

Bluebell, 44, 80. 

Bluebottle, 39. 

Bog-asphodel, 80. 

Bog-berry, 4fi. 

Bog-moss, 97 

Bog-myrtle, 71, 105. 

Bog--\nolet. 56. 

Boletus, 99. 

Borage, 55. 

Borago, 55. 

Botrychium, 95 

Box, 63. 

Brakes, 94 

Bramble, 20. 

Brassica, 6. 

Briar (sweet), 21. 

Biiza, 9 '. 

Brome grass, 88. 

Brook-lime, 49. 

Broom, 14. 

Broom-rape, 51. 

Bruise-wort, 8. 

Bryacea;, 97. 

Buckbean, 48 

Buckthorn, 13, 



Buckwheat (climbing), 61. 
Bugle, 54. 
Bugloss, 55. 
BuUace, 17. 
Bulrush, 85. 
Bunium, 30. 
Burdock, ?8. 
Bur marigold, 44. 
Burnet, 22. 
Bur-reed, 83. 
Butcher's broom, 80. 
Butterbur, 41. 
Buttercups, 2. 
Butterwort, 5(;. 
Buxus, 63. 

Cabbage, 6. 
Cakile, 6. 
Calamagrostis, 88. 
Calamint, 52. 
Calluna, 45. 
Caltha palustris, 2. 
Camomile, 43 
Campanulaceie, 44. 
Campion (red), 8. 
Cane-grass, 88. 
Capsella, 5. 
Caraway, 30. 
Cardamine, 6. 
Carduus, 38, 114. 
Carex, 86 
Carpinus, 67. 
Carrot, 32. 
Carum, 30. 
Caryophyllacea;, 8. 
Castanea 69. 
Cat's-tail, 82. 
Cauliflower, 6. 
Cedar, 73. 

Celandine (common), 4. 
Celandine (lesser), 2, 107. 
Celastracea-., 12. 
Celery (wild), 30. 
Centaurea, 39. 
Centaury, 48. 
Cerastium, 9. 
Charlock, 7. 
Chase-the-devil, 3. 
Cheiranthus, «. 
Chelidonium, 4. 
Chenopodiaceag, 59. 
Chenopodium vulvaria, 60. 
Cherleria, 9. 
Cherry, 17 ; wild, 18. 
Chervil, 32 
Chestnut, fi9. 
Chickweed, 9. 
Chicory, 37. 
Chives, 79. 
Chlora, 48. 
Chondrus, 102. 
Chorda, lu3 
Chrysanthemum, 42. 
Chrysosplenium, 27. 
Cicely (sweet), 33 
Cicuta, 29. 
Cinquefoil, 19. 
Cinnamon 60. 
Circaja, 25. 
Cistaceiie, 7. 
Citrus, 24. 
Citron, 24. 
Clary, 53. 
Cleaverg, 34 
Cloudberry, 20. 
Clover, 14 ; red, 15 
Clubmoss, 96. 
Cochlearia, 5. 
Colehicum, 77. 



Colfs-foot, 41. 

Columbine, 3. 

Comarum, 19. 

Corafrey, 56 

Common cotton rose, 40. 

Composita', 36. 

CoQtervai, I03. 

Con i ferae, 72. 

Conium, 29. 

Convaliaria, 78. 

Convolvulacea>, 4H. 

Convolvulus, 48. 

Corallina, li>2. 

Coriander, 33. 

Cork-tree, 67. 

Cornaceae, 28. 

I'om-cockle, 8. 

Cornel, 28. 

Corn-marigold, 42. 

Corn-sow thistle, 37. 

Corn-thistle, 38. 

Cornus, 28. 

Cotton-grass, 86. 

Cotton sedge, 86. 

Cotyledon, 27, 107. 

Couch grass, 91. 
j Cow- berry, 45. 
j Cow-jiarsnip, 32. 

Cowslip, 57, 105, 

Crab-tree, 23. 

Crambe, 5, 108. 

Cranberry, 46. 

Cranesbill, 12. 

Crassulacese, 26. 

Crategus, 22. 

Cress (water), 6. 

Crithmum, 31. 

Crocus, 77. 

Crowberrj', 62. 

Crowfoot farn., 2. 

Cruci ferae, 5. 

Cryptogams 92. 

Cuckoo-flower, 6. 

Cuckoo-pint, 82. 

Cucumber, 63. 

Cucurbitaceae, 63. 

Cudbear, 98. 

Cudweed, 40. 

Cupuliferae, 66. 

Currant. 26. 

Cuscuta, 49 

Cyclamen, 57. 

Cynoglossum, 56 

Cynosurus, 90. 

Cyperaceae, 84. 

Cypress, 73. 

Cystopteris, 93. 

Cj'tisus, 14. 

Dafl'odil, 77. 

Daff"y-down-dilly, 77. 

Daisy, 42. 

Damson, 17. 

Dandelion, 37. 

Danewort, 34. 

Darnel. 91. 

Daucus, 32. 

Deadly nightshade (atropa), 

49 
Dead nettle, 54, 108. 
Devil-in-lhe-bush, 3. 
Devil's bit, 36. 
Dewberry, 21. 
Dictamnus, 54. 
Digitalis, 51. 
Dill, 32 
Dipsaceae, 36. 
Dipsacus, 36. 
Dittany, 54. 



128 



Dock, 61. 
Dodder, 49. 
Dog lichen, 97. 

Dog's - mercury (wood mer- 
cury). 63. 
Dog-tail, 90. 
Dog-rose, 21. 
Dog-violet, 7. 
Dog-wood, 28. 
Dropwort, 18. 
Drosera, 8, 106. 
Dryas, 19. 
Duckweed, 81. 
Dulse, 101. 
Dwale, 49. 
Dwarf beech, 69. 
Dwarf elder, 34. 
Dwarf mallow, 10. 

Earth-nut, 30. 
Echium, 66. 
Elder, 34. 
Elecampane, 42. 
Elm, 65. 
Einpetrum, 62. 
Enchantress nightshade, 25. 
Eodive, 37. 
Epilobium, 25. 
Epipactis, 76. 
Equisetacese, 96. 
Equisotum, 96. 
Erica, 44. 
Ericacea;, 44. 
Eriophorum, 85. 
Ervnm, 16 
Eryngium, 29, 94. 
Erysimum, 6, 107. 
Erythrfea, 48. 
Euonymus, 13. 
Eupatorium, 43. 
Euphorbiacea, 63. 
Euphorbia, 63. 
Euphrasia, 50. 
Everlasting, 40. 
Eyebright, 50. 

Faba, 16. 
Fairy flax, 9. 
Fagus, 67. 
Fennel, 30. 
Fenugreek, 14. 
Fern family, 92. 
Fescue grass, 90. 
Festuca, 90. 
Ficus, 65. 

Field madder, 34, . 
Fig, 65. 
Figwort, 50. 
Filago, 40. 
Filices, 92, 106. 
Florin grass, 87. 
Fir, 72. 

Flag (yellow), 76. 
Flax, 9. 
Flixweed, 6. 
Fceniculum, 30. 
Forget-me-not, 56. 
Foxglove, 51. 
Foxtail grass, 87. 
Fragaria, 19 
Fraxmus, 47. 
French bean, 16 
French willow, 71. 
Fucus, li 0. 
Fumaria, 4, 106, 107. 
Fumariacese. 4. 
Fumitory, 4, 
Fungi, 99. 
Furze, 14, 



Galanthus, 77. 
Gale, 71. 
Galeopsis, 55. 
Galium, 34. 
Garlic, 79. 
Garlic mustard, 6. 
Gentian, 47. 
Gentiana, 47. 
Gentianacese, 47. 
Geraniacese, 12. 
Geranium, 12. 
Gcum, 19. 
Gilliflower, 6. 
Glasswort, 59. 
Glaucium, 4. 
Globeflower, 6. 
Glyceria, 89. 
Gnaphaliura, 40. 
Golden rod, 44. 
Golden saxifrage, 27. 
Goldilocks, 2 
Good King Henry, 60. 
Gooseberry, 26. 
Goosefoot, 60. 
Goosegrass (seaside), 59. 
Gorse, 14 
Goutweed, 32 
Gramineae, 87. 
Grape vine, 12. 
Grass family, 87. 
Grass of- Parnassus, 28. 
Grasarack (sea-grass), 81. 
Ground ivy, 54. 
Groundsel, 41 
Guelder rose, 34. 

Harebell, 44. 
Hare's-foot clover, 15. 
Hart's-tongue fern, 94. 
Halydris, 103. 
Hawkweed, 37, 108. 
Hawkweed (mouse-ear), 37. 
Hawthorn, 22. 
Hazel, 68 

Heartsease (Appendix) 
Heath, 44 

Heath bedstraw, 35. 
Heath, Cornish, 45. 
Hedera, 28, 106 
Hedge mustard, 108. 
Helianthemum, 7. 
Hellebore (green), 3. 
Hellebore, 3. 
Helleboriue (white), 76 
Helleborus, 3. 
Helmintha, 36. 
Helosciadium, 30. 
Hemanthalia, 103. 
Hemlock, 29. 
Hemp 64. 

Hemp agrimony, 43. 
Hemp nettle, 55. 
Henbane, 49 
Heracleum, 32, 107. 
Herb Robert, 12. 
Herniaria, 59. 
Hieracium, 37. 
Holcus, 90. 
Holly, 46. 
Holly fern, 93. 
Hollyhock (Appendix), 108. 
Holm-tree, 67. 
Holostea, 9 
Honeysuckle, 34. 
Hop, 64. 
Hop trefoil, 15. 
Hordeum, 89. 
Horehound, 54. 
Hornbeam, 68. 



Horse-chestnut, 69. 
Horse-radish, 5. 
Horse-tail, 5. 
Hounds-tongue, 56. 
House-leek, 27. 
Hyacinth (wild), 80. 
Hydrocotyle, 29. 
Hyoscyamus, 49. 
Hypericum, 10. 
Hyssop, 54. 

Ilex, 46. 
Inula, 42. 
Iridaceae, 76. 
Iris, 76. 
Isatis, 5. 
Ivy, 28, 106. 

Jasione, 44. 
Juglans, 14. 
Juncacese, 83 
Juncus. 83. 
Juniper, 74 
Juniperus, 74. 

Kale, 5, 6. 
Kidney vetch, 15. 
Knapweed, 89. 
Knautia, 36. 
Knot-grass, 61. 

Labiatse, 52. 
I Laburnum, 14. 
i Lactuca, 36. 
' Lady fern, 94. 
I Ladies' bedstraw, 35. 
I Ladies' fingers, 15. 
I Ladies' mantle, 22. 
j Ladies' smock, 6. 

Lammaria. 101. 

Lamium, 54. 

Lapsana, 37. 

Larch, 73 
i Lastrea, 93. 
I Lathyrus, 15. 

Laurel, 60. 

Lavender, 53. 

Lecanora, 98. 

Leek 78. 
j Leguminosae, 14 
j Lemon, 24. 
j Lemna, 81. 
■ Lemnacese, 81. 
i Lentiles, 16. 

Leontodon, 37. 

Lepturus, 88. 

Lejiidium, 54 

Lettuce, 36 

Lichens, 97. 

Ligu.sticura, 31. 

Lilac, 46 

Liliaceae, 78. 

Lily-of-the-valley, 78. 

Lime, 10. 

Linaceae, 9. 

Linden, 10. 

Ling, 45. 

Linum, 9. 

Listera, 76. 

Liverwort, 97. 

Lobelia, 44. 

Lolium, 91 

London Pride, 105. 

Lonicera, 34. 

Loosestrife (purple), 25. 

Loosestrife (yellow), 67. 

Loranthaceae^ 

Lords and ladies, 82. 

Lotus, 15. 



129 



Louse-wort, 50. 
Lovage, 31, 
Lovage (common), 31. 
Lunaria (moonwort), 95. 
Lungwort, 98. 
Lu/ula, 84. 
Lychnis, 8, 106. 
Lycopcrdon, 99. 
Lycopodiacese, 96. 
Lycopodiura, 96. 
Lycopos, 55. 
Lysimachia, 57. 
Lythracea% 25. 
Lythrum, 25. 

Madder, 34 
Maiden-hair fern, 95. 
Male fern, 93 
Mallow, H'. 
Malva, 10. 
Malvaceiii, 10. 
Mangel-wurzel, 69. 
Maple, 11 
Maram, 88. 
Marchantiacese, 97. 
Marigold (corn), 42. 
Marjoram, 53. 
Marrubiuin, 54. 
Marsh cinquefoil, 19. 
Marsh-mallow, 10. 
Marsh-marigold, 2. 
Marsh-pennywort, 29. 
Marsh-thistle, 38 
Mary's thistle, 33. 
Marshwort, 30. 
Masterwort, 31. 
Mat-grass, 92. 
Matricaria, 43. 
May, 22. 
Mayweed, 43. 
Meadow-rue, 1. 
Meadow saffron, 77. 
Meadow-sweet, 18. 
Meadow saxifrage, 27. 
Medlar, 22 

Melancholy thistle, 38. , 
Melon, 64. 
Mentha, 52. 
Menyanthes, 48. 
Mercurialis, 63. 
Mercury, 63. 
Mespilus, 22. 
Meu, 31. 
Meum, 31, 113. 
Mildews, 99. 
Milfoil (water), 26. 
Milkwort, 8 
Millet, 87. 
Mint, 52. 

Mistletoe, 33, 114. 
Molinia, 89. 
Monkshood, 3 
Monk's rhulmrb, ♦'2. 
Moonwort, 95. 
Morus, 66. 
Mosses, 97. 
Moulds, £9. 
Mountain-a.<*h, 24, 112. 
Mountain sorrel, 62. 
Mucedo, 99. 
Mugwort, 39 
Mulberry, 66. 
Mullein,' 49. 
Mushrooms, 99. 
Mustard (wild), 7. 
Myosotis, 56. 
Myrica, 71, 105. 
Myrioi)hy]lum, 26. 
Myrrhis, 33. 



Myrtle, 25. 

Naiad family, 81. 
Narcissus, 77. 
Nard (Celtic), 67. 
Nardus, 92, 106, 107. 
Narthecium, 80 
Nasturtium, 6, 109. 
Navelwort, 27, 107. 
Nepeta, 54. 
Nettle, 64. 
Nigella, 3 
Nightshade, 49. 
Nipplewort, 37. 
Nuphar, 4 
Nymphaiaceaj, 3. 

Oak, m, 114. 

Oak fern, 93. 

Oats, 88. 

Oiea, 46. 

Olive, 46. ' 

Onion, 78. 

Ononis, 14, 1C9. 

Onopord (Appendix), ' notes, 
114. 

Ophioglossum, 95. 

Ophrys, 75. 

Orache, 60. 
I Orange, 24. 

Orchidacea^-, 75 
I Orchid fam., 76 
{ Origanum, 53. 
I Orobanche, 51. 
\ Orobus, 16, lOf, 114. 
I Ori)ine, 27. 

Osier, 71. 

Osmunda, 95. 

Oxalis, 12. 

Ox-eye daisy, 43 
I Ox-toiigue, 55. 

Pseonia, 3. 
! Paiony, 3, 1' 8 
I Pansy (Appendix), 107, 109. 
i Papaver, 4. 

Papaveracese, 4. 

Papilionacese, 14. 
! Parietaria, 

Parmelia. 98. 

Parnas^sia, 28. 

Parsley, 30. 

Parsnip, 32, 113. 

Pastinaca, b2, 113. 

Pea, 15. 

Peach, 18. 
i Pear, 23. 
i Pedicularis, 
! Pellitory, 64. 

Pellitory of Spain, 43. 

Peltidea, 97. 
! Pennyroyal, 52. 
I Pennywort, 29. 
I Pennycress, 5. 

Peplis (Euphorbia), 63. 

Pepperwort, 54. 

Persicaria, 61. 

Petasites, 41. 

Petrostlinum, 30. 

Phleum, 87. 

Phojnix, 106. 

Pignut, 30. 
i Pimpernel, 58. 
I Pinguicula, 56. 

Pine, 72. 

Pine family, 72. 

Pinus, 72. 

Pisuni, 15. 

Plane, 11. 



Plantaginaccse, 58. 

Plantago, 58. 

Platanus, 11, 

Plum, 17. 

Plumbagineae, 58. 

Porphyra, 102. 

Polyanthus, 57, 

Polygalaceaj, 8. 

Polygonacea;, 61. 

Polygonum, 61. 

Pol J podium, 9.'. 

Polypody, 92. 

Polyporus, 99. 

Polysiphonia, 102. 

Polystichum, 93. 

Pomegranate, 25. 

Pond-weed, 81. 

Poplar, 70. 

Poppy, 4. 

Poppy (horned), 4. 

Poppy (sonmiferuni), 4. 

Populus, 70. 

Potamogeton, 81. 

Potato, 49. 

Potentil, 19, 1(5. 

Primrose, 56. 

Primrose fam., 56. 

Primula, 56. 

Primulaceai, 66. 

Privet, 46. 

Prunella, 55.- 
I Prunus,-17, 107. 
i Psamma, 88. 

Pteris, 94. 

Puff-ball, 99. 

Pulmonaria, 98. 

Punica, 25. 

Purple loosestriTe, 25. 

Purslane-like orache, 60. 

Pyrus, 23. 

Quick beam, in 7. 

Queen of the meadow, 18, 

105. 
Quaking-grass, 90. 
Quercus, 66, 114. 
Quince, 24. 

Radish, 5, 108. 
Ragged robin, 8. 
Ragwoi-t, 42. 
Ranunculaceae, 1. 
Ranunculus family, 1. 
Raphanus, 5. 
Raspberry, 20. 
Rattle (yellow), 60, 107. 
Red campion, 8. 
Red rattle, 60. 
Reed, 87. 
Reed-grass, 88. 
Reed-mace, 82. 
Reseda, 7. 
Resedacea^, 7. 
Rest-harrow, 14. 
Rhamnus, 13. 
Rhinanthus, 50, 1(7. 
Rhodiola, 26. 
Rhodyiiienia, 101. 
Rhubarb (Monk's), ^2. 
Ribes family, 26. 
Ribwort, 58. 
Rocket, 6. 
Rocambole, 79. 
Rock-rose, 7. 
Rosacea, 17. 
Rosebay, 25. 
Rosemary, 52. 
Roseroot, 26. 
Rowan-tree, 24, 112. 



I30 



lioyal fern, 95. 
Rubia, 34. 
RubiaccEe, 34. 
Rubus, 20. 
Rue, 1. 
Rue fern, 94. 
Runiex, 61. 
Rapture-wort, 59. 
Ruscus, 80. 
Rush family, 83, 84. 
Ruta (graveolens), 1. 
Rye, 89. 
Rye-gras^, 91. 

Saffron, 77. 

Sage, 53 

St John's wort, 1\ 110. 

Salicaria, 25. 

Salicomia, 59. 

Salix, 70. 

Sallow, 71. 

Salt-wort, 59. 

Sainbucus nigra, 34, 113. 

Sampliire, 31. 

Sandalwood (Appendix), 106. 

Sandwort, 9. 

Sanguisorba, 22. 

Sanicle (wood), 29. 

Santalum, 106. 

Saponaria, 8, 110. 

Sargassuni, 103 • 

Sarothamnus, 14. 

Sauce-alone, 6, 105. 

Savin, 74. 

Savory, 53. 

Saxifraga, 27. 

Saxifrage, 27. 

Sf-abiosa, 36 

Scabious, 36 

SclKcnus, 85, 120. 

Seilla, 80. 

Scirpus, 85. 

Scolopendriuni, 94. 

Scouring rush, 97. 

Scrophularia, 49, 106. 

Scrophulariaceie, 49. 

Scurvy-grass, 5, 105. 

Sea gilly-flower rocket, 6. 

Sea lioliy, 29, 94. 

Sea-kale or cabbage, 5, 108. 

Sea inatweed, 88. 

Sea rocket, 6. 

Sea spurge, 63. 

Seaweeds, 100. 

Sea wheat-grass, 91. 

Seaware, 100. 

Secale, 89. 

Sedge, 87. 

Seduni, 26. 

Selago, 96. 

Self-heal. 55 

Seinpervivnm, 27, 109. 

Senecio, 41. 

Serrated seaweed, 100. 

Shallot, 79. 

Shamrock, 12. 

Sheep's-bit, 44. 

Sheep sorrel, 62 

Shepherd's-purse, 5 

Shepherd's weatherglass, 58. 

Shieldfern, 93. 

Silverweed, 19, 106. 

Sinapis, 7, 105. 

Sisymbrium, 6. 

Sium, 32. 

Skirrets, 32, 106 

Sloe, 17, 109, 115. 

Sinallage, 30 

Snakeweed, 61. 

Sneezewort, 41. 



Snowdrop, 77. 

Soapwort, 8, 110. 

Soft tinder, 99. 

Solanacese, 49. 

Solanura, 49. 

Solidago, 44. 

Sonchus, 36, 

Sorrel, 62 

Southernwood, 40. 

Sow-bread (cyclamen), 57 

Sow-fennel, 31. 

Sow-thistle, 36. 

Sphagnum, 97. 

Sparganium, 83. 

Spearwort, 2. 

Speedwell, 50. 

Spergula, 9, 106. 

Spignel, 31. 

Spinage, 59. 

Spindle-tree, 13. 

Spira;a, 18. 

Spleenwort, 94. 

Spurge, 63, 

Spurry, 9, 106. 

Squill, 8'. 

Stachys, 55. 

Stellaria, 9. 

Sticta, 98. 

Stitchwort, 9. 
! Stonebramble, 20. 

Stonecrop, 26. 
I StrawbeiTy, 20. 

Strawberry-tree, 45. 

Sua^da, 59. 

Succisa (pcabiosa), 36. 

Succory, 37 

Sundew, 8, 106. 

Sunflower, 39 

Sweet briar, 21. 

Sweet flag, 82. 

Sweet mountain fern, 93. 
! Sweet violet, 7. 
; Sweet woodruff, 35. 
' Sycamore, 11. 

Sym])hytum, 56. 

Syringa, 45. 

Tanacetum, 43. 

Tansey, 43. 

Taraxacum, 37, 105, 

Taxus, 74. 
, Teasel, 36 
i Telephium, 27. 
I Teucrium, 53. 
< Thalictrum, 1. 

Thistle, 38. 

Tlilaspi, 5. 

Thrifr., 58. 

Thuga, 73. 

Tliyme, 53. 

Thymus, 53. 

Tilia, 10. 

Tiliacese, 10. 

Timothy grass, 87. 

Tormentilla, 19, 197. 

Trefoil, 14. 

Trichomanes. 94. 
j Trigonella, 14. 
I Trifolium, 14 
I Triglochin, 81. 
I Triticuni, 90. 
! TroHius, 16. 
I Truffle, 99. 

Tufted vetch, 15. 
i Tuber, 99. 
I Tulip, 80. 
! Turnip, 6. 

Tussilago, 41. 
i Tutsan, 11. 
' T way blade, 76. 



Typha, 82. 
Typhacese, 82 

Ulex, 14. 

Ulmus, 65. 
Ulva, 102. 
Umbelliferse, 29. 
Urtica, 64. 
Urticacese, 64. 

Vaceinium, 45, 106. 
Valerian, 35. 
Valerian dwarf, 35. 
Valeriana, 35 
Verbascum, 49. 
Verbena, 51, 116. 
Verbenacea;, 51. 
Vernal-grass, 87. 
Veronica. 50, 107. 
Vervain, 51, 116. 
Vetch, 15. 

Viburnum opulus, 34, 106. 
Vicia, 15, 108. 
Viola family, 7. 
Violacea-, 7 
Viper's bugloss, 56. 
Viscum album, 33. 
Vitis, 11. 
Vine, 12. 

Wake-robin, 82. 

Wall hawkweed, 37. 
i Wallflower, 6. 
i Wall pepper, 26. 

Wall ix;niiywort, 27. 
' Wall rue, 94. 

Walnut, 14. 

Water crowfoot, 2. 

Wartcress, 6. 

Water elder, 34. 

Water hemlock, 29. 
\ Water-lily, 3. 
i Water-milfoil, 26. 

Water parsnip, 32. 

Water jiepper, 61. 

Water plantain, 81. 

Water avens, 19. 

"Wayfaring-tree, 34. 

Weld, 7. 

Wheat, 90. 

Whin, 14. 

White tansy, 19. 

White thorn, 22. 

Whortleberry, 45. 

Wild navew, 6 

Willow, 70. 

Willow herb, 25. 
i Winbcny (bilberry), 
j Wind-flower, 1. 
j Winter cress, 109. 
! Woad, 5 
< Wolfsbane, 3. 

Woodbine, 34. 

Woodruff", 35. 

Wood sage, 53. 

Wood sorrel, 12. 

Wood strawberry, 19. 

Wormwood, 40. 

Woundwort, 54. 

Yarrow, 44, 115. 
Yellow flag. 76. 
Yellow bedstraw, 35. 
Yellow-weed, 7. 
Yellow rattle, 50, 107. 
Yellow vetchling, 15. 
Yellow-wort, 48. 
Yew, 74. 

Zostera, 81. 



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WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS. 23 



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24 



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